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Iran Starts Laying $10-Billion Gas Pipeline To Iraq, Syria

Iran has begun construction of the first phase of a 1,500-kilometer-long pipeline to take natural gas to Iraq and Syria as part of propping up its oil sector hit by international sanctions following its nuclear defiance.

The first phase of the $10-billion project covering a distance of 225 kilometer is expected to be completed by June next with an investment of $3 billion, the semi-official Fars News Agency (FNA) reported on Monday quoting Gilan-e Gharb Governor Ardeshir Rostami.

Describing the project as important for Iran politically and socio-economically, Rostami said it had already started from Kuhdasht and reached Gilan-e Gharb to pass the border to Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Oil Ministers of Iran, Iraq and Syria had signed a preliminary agreement on the gas pipeline in July last year. The pipeline will transit 110 million cubic meters of natural gas a day to Damascus. As per the agreement, Iraq would purchase up to 25 million cubic meters a day to feed its power stations, the FNA report said.

The gas will be produced from the Iranian South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf, which Iran shares with Qatar, and holds an estimated reserves of 16 trillion cubic meters of recoverable gas.

Tehran has also plans to extend the pipeline to Lebanon and the Mediterranean to supply gas to Europe, the report said.

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