0743 GMT December 14, 2019
Talking to IRNA, he said that the exports are overdue about one month because of final tests on the pipelines, IRNA reported.
He also said that talks are underway with Iraqi officials to determine ways of receiving the money for the exported gas.
He noted that neither side was ready to start the gas project earlier due to technical issues.
The official stressed that the delayed export of gas to Iraq has nothing to do with the political developments in the country.
He explained that because of the sanctions, Iran is sensitive to the ways of receiving the money for its gas from Iraq.
Earlier, the deputy oil minister had told reporters that 'export of Iran's gas to Iraq will happen by transferring 5-7 million cubic meters per day.'
He noted that the Iranian gas exports to Iraq will increase in the next two years after Iran starts transferring supplies to the neighboring country via the two pipelines of Baghdad and Basra.
Iran has agreed to eventually export 25 million cubic meters (mcm) per day of gas to Iraq.
The 270-kilometer pipeline stretches from the village of Charmaleh, located in Iran’s Western province of Kermanshah, into the town of Naft Shahr on the border with Iraq.
The pipeline, which is estimated to earn Iran USD 3.7 billion a year in revenues, will be fed by the massive offshore South Pars gas field in the Southern Iran.
The pipeline will take Iran's gas from the country's South gas field phases in Southern Iran to the power plant in Iraq.
In December 2012, Iraqi energy expert Hossein al-Jawaheri told FNA that Baghdad has commissioned Iranian companies to construct a 270-kilometer gas pipeline from Iran to Iraq's al-Mansoureh power plant.
Last month, Managing Director of Iranian Gas Engineering and Development Company Alireza Qaribi announced that Iran had started pre-startup tests on the pipeline built to transport the country's natural gas to Iraq to feed the Arab country’s power plants.
'After the end of cleaning and calibration pigging, 97 kilometers (Iran’s section) of the pipeline will become operational,” Qaribi said.
He noted that the 97-kilometer pipeline, 48 inches in diameter, would be linked to Iran’s gas trunklines (IGATs) to deliver natural gas from Iran to Iraq.
In July, Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Ali Majedi said Iran is expected to start pumping gas to Iraq early next Iranian year (started March 21, 2015).