Iran and Oman have agreed to alter the route of an underwater gas pipeline planned to ship Iranian gas to Oman in order to avoid territorial waters of the UAE, Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Tuesday, adding that the re-route would not have economic impact on the gas export project.
The pipeline – which has been in the works since 2013 – will export gas from Iran to Oman, where the gas will be liquefied and used for both domestic consumption and re-export. The agreement on which the two countries have been working is for Iran to supply gas to Oman via the new pipeline in a deal expected to be worth US$60 billion over a period of 25 years.
Last year, reports had it that the planned gas pipeline would be more expensive than initially thought if it were to change the route to avoid UAE waters. At the time of the early stages of the Iranian-Omani accord, the pipeline was expected to cost around US$1 billion, although the UAE never agreed to the initial project that would have crossed its waters.
Today, after meeting with Omani oil and gas minister Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhy, Iran’s oil minister Zanganeh said, as quoted by Mehr news agency:
“The two countries agreed that the gas exports pipeline avoids waters controlled by the United Arab Emirates and passes through deep waters.”
Representatives of Shell, Total, and Korea Gas Corp (KOGAS) also attended the Iranian-Omani meeting and expressed proposals on how they would participate in the project, Zanganeh said, noting that the project would involve US$1.2 billion in investment.
Iran expects to finalize talks over the gas pipeline project to Oman in early March, Zanganeh also said after the meeting with his Omani counterpart, Iran’s PressTV reported today.