Iran, Oman reaffirm gas export project, change pipeline route to avoid UAE

DUBAI, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Oman and Iran have agreed to change the route of a planned undersea gas export pipeline, to avoid waters controlled by the United Arab Emirates, Iran’s oil minister said on Tuesday after meeting his Omani counterpart in Tehran.

The planned pipeline would connect Iran’s vast gas reserves with Omani consumers as well as with liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants in Oman that could re-export the gas.

In 2013 the two countries signed an agreement to supply gas to Oman through the new pipeline in a deal valued at $60 billion over 25 years.

After international sanctions on Tehran were lifted in January 2016 the two countries renewed efforts to implement the project but it has also been delayed by disagreements over price and U.S. pressure on Muscat to find other suppliers.

“The two countries agreed that the gas exports pipeline avoids waters controlled by the United Arab Emirates and passes through deep waters,” Bijan Namdar Zanganeh was quoted as saying on Tuesday by Mehr news agency.

Zanganeh said during his meeting with Oman’s Minister of Oil and Gas Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhy in Tehran that a new agreement was signed that extends the previous deal.

“The change of the pipeline route through deep waters has no economic impact on the gas exports project,” he added.

The representatives from Shell, Total and Korea Gas Corp (KOGAS) also attended the meeting in Tehran, Zanganeh said, and offered their proposals.

Iran’s oil minister said the whole project would need $1.2 billion of investment. (Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Greg Mahlich)