New compressor station in Turkmenistan to boost Iran natural gas supplies

President Saparmurat Niyazov inaugurated a compressor station, Wednesday, at the Turkmenistan's major Kopetje, natural gas field to boost gas supplies to neighboring Iran.

The US$140 million (Ђ114 million) station, with a capacity to process 3 billion cubic meters (106 billion cubic feet) of gas annually, was built by the German MAN company, according to officials.

Last year, the gas-rich Central Asian nation sold to Iran more than 5 billion cubic meters (176.5 billion cubic feet) of natural gas. It is expected to increase supplies this year up to 7 billion cubic meters (247 billion cubic feet), officials said.

Turkmenistan supplies natural gas to Iran's northern regions via an 8-year-old pipeline from the Kopetje field.

The ex-Soviet republic and Iran have expanded ties since the 1991 Soviet collapse. In 1996, the two countries opened a rail link that gives the landlocked Central Asian region access to the Persian Gulf, reports the AP.

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