Tehran: An Iranian energy official said Iran will start supplying natural gas to neighboring Iraq by the summer of 2013, the semi-official Fars news agency reported Sunday.
Managing Director of National Iranian Gas Company Javad Oji said Iran has completed more than 25 percent of a pipeline to Iraq that could carry up to 25 million cubic meters per day of its natural gas to Iraq, according to the report.
"Currently more than 25 percent of this 48-inch (in diameter) gas transmission pipe has been completed," Oji said, adding that Iranian contractors would help build the Iraqi section of the pipeline.
With the progress in the construction of the gas pipeline in the two countries, it is expected that gas injection and the launch of the pipeline could be inaugurated by the next summer, Oji was quoted as saying.
He said gas extracted from Iran's offshore South Pars gas field would help feed the pipeline.
In May, Director of Iran Gas Engineering and Development Company Alireza Gharibi said Iranian contractors would build a 220- km natural gas pipeline to Iraq.
A total of 450 million U.S. dollars would be invested in the construction of the pipeline to transport Iran's natural gas to Iraq, Gharibi told semi-official Mehr news agency.
The pipeline would transfer about 25 million cubic meters of Iranian natural gas per day for five years, he said, adding that the gas would be used to operate the Baghdad and Mansourieh power plants in Iraq.
Iran has the world's second largest gas reserves after Russia, but has struggled for years to develop its oil and gas resources.