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NIOC ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR GAS PIPELINE TO KUWAIT

By NBF NEWS
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A government-owned Iranian company has announced plans to construct a 350-mile pipeline to export natural gas to Kuwait.

'The result of the negotiations is very satisfactory and for this purpose the parties intend to establish a joint venture company,' Managing Director of the National Iranian Gas Company, Reza Kasaeizadeh said in a statement.

The announcement of the proposed deal comes as the United States is trying to mobilise international support for harsher sanctions on Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons programme. The Iran energy sector which is vital to the country's economy is often mentioned as a possible target of the sanctions.

Analysts said Kuwait might have chosen to work with the National Iranian Gas Company, which is owned by the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum, because it had been snubbed on a similar project by Saudi Arabia.

'One reason Kuwait has been looking at Iran is because Saudi Arabia has not allowed a gas pipeline from Qatar to Kuwait to go ahead since such a pipeline would go through Saudi maritime territory,' Director of International Studies, Gulf Research Center, Christian Koch, told The Media Line.

'Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have also not resolved their dispute over the Dorra gas field,' he added.

But Koch said he was skeptical this gas pipeline project would actually develop, particularly since similar deals on water have not materialised.

Washington has been pressuring its allies on the southern side of the Gulf to curtail their business dealing with Iran. This could be tricky, according to an editor with the Economist Intelligence Unit, Jane Kinninmont.