Iran–Iraq–Syria pipeline

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Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline
Location
CountryIran, Iraq, Syria[1]
General directioneast–west
FromAsalouyeh, Iran
Passes throughDamascus, Syria
General information
TypeNatural gas
Technical information
Length5,600 km (3,500 mi)
Maximum discharge110 million cubic metres of natural gas per day[1]
Diameter56 in (1,422 mm)

The Iran–Iraq–Syria pipeline (called the Friendship Pipeline by the governments involved and the Islamic gas pipeline by some Western sources[2]) is a proposed natural gas pipeline running from the Iranian South Pars/North Dome Gas-Condensate field towards Europe via Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to supply European customers as well as Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.[1] The pipeline was planned to be 5,600 km (3,500 mi) long and have a diameter of 142 centimetres (56 in).[1] A previous proposal, known as the Persian Pipeline, had seen a route from Iran's South Pars to Europe via Turkey; it was apparently abandoned after the Swiss energy company Elektrizitätsgesellschaft Laufenburg halted its contract with Iran in October 2010 in the face of pressure over U.S. sanctions against Iran.[3][4]

Iraq signed an agreement with Iran in June 2013 to receive natural gas to fuel Iraqi power plants in Baghdad and Diyala. The contract covers 1.4 Bcf/d over 10 years. Iran's plans to export 176 MMscf/d of gas to Iraq by 2015.[5]

In July 2011 Iran, Iraq and Syria said they planned to sign a contract potentially worth around $6bn to construct a pipeline running from South Pars towards Europe, via these countries and Lebanon and then under the Mediterranean to a European country, with a refinery and related infrastructure in Damascus.[1][6][7][8] In November 2012 the United States dismissed reports that construction had begun on the pipeline, saying that this had been claimed repeatedly and that "it never seems to materialize."[9] A framework agreement was to be signed in early 2013, with costs now estimated at $10bn;[10] construction plans were delayed by the Syrian Civil War.[11] In December 2012 the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies said that the project "remains doubtful. It is not clear how such a project will be financed given that both Iran and Syria are subject to strict financial sanctions."[12] In July 2015, Iranian Gas Engineering and Development Company (IGEDC) and Pasargad Energy Development Company signed a BOT (build-operate-transfer) contract under which the project owner will provide 25% of finance and National Development Fund of Iran the rest for the construction of IGAT-6.[13]

The pipeline would be a competitor to the Nabucco pipeline from Azerbaijan to Europe.[1] It is also an alternative to the Qatar–Turkey pipeline which had been proposed by Qatar to run from Qatar to Europe via Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey.[14] Syria's rationale for rejecting the Qatar proposal was said to be "to protect the interests of [its] Russian ally, which is Europe's top supplier of natural gas."[14]

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