Oman says it has arrived at an agreement with Iran to change the route and design of a planned undersea natural gas pipeline which will be meant to take natural gas from the Islamic Republic to the sultanate through the Persian Gulf.
Oman’s Minister of Oil and Gas Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhy has been quoted by the media as saying that the change was necessary to make sure the pipeline avoids waters controlled by the United Arab Emirates.
Rumhy has been quoted by Reuters as saying that Iran and Oman have agreed on a deeper option that originally envisaged for the pipeline.
“Instead of the shallower option at around 300 meters (985 feet) deep, the pipeline is to plunge close to 1,000 meters below the sea’s surface. And it will be slightly shorter,” he said.
Omani and UAE officials have discussed the project but it is not clear if the UAE has given its blessing to the project or has objected to a route that would pass through its waters, Reuters added.
Iran will export 28 million cubic meters of gas to Oman per day via a subsea pipeline within 15 years, according to the agreement signed between Tehran and Muscat in 2013.
In September 2015, after bilateral negotiations in Tehran it was announced that the project will be operational by late 2017.
Almost a third of the gas exported by Iran to Oman will be turned into liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the sultanate’s Qalhat plant, and the rest will be consumed domestically. Iran will accordingly use the LNG thus produced at Qalhat plant for exports to European and Asian markets.