Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Azerbaijan to supply natural gas to Iran

BAKU: Azerbaijan has struck a deal to supply natural gas to neighboring Iran for three months, the ex-Soviet republic's state energy company said Wednesday.

The short-term agreement envisages the daily supply of up to 1.2 million cubic meters (425 million cubic feet), and the total amount might reach 100 million cubic meters (3.5 billion cubic feet) by the time the contract ends in March, said the company's director, Rovnaq Abdullayev.

He said the countries are working on a bigger deal that might boost the exports to 500 million cubic meters by the end of this year.

Abdullayev said Azerbaijan will supply up to 1 billion cubic meters (35 billion cubic feet) of natural gas to Russia and a similar amount to Georgia this year.

The energy-rich Caspian state has sought to diversify export routes for its hydrocarbons that used to be dominated by Russia.

Gas from the Caspian region, including Azerbaijan, is a focus of competition between Russian routes and a projected Western-backed pipeline to Europe via Turkey.

Azerbaijan already supplies natural gas to its enclave, Nakhichevan, through Iran.

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