0956 GMT December 12, 2017
Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh inaugurated the Damghan-Neka natural gas pipeline to supply gas to consumers in the north of the country, Shana reported.
Construction of the project began 10 years ago but gained momentum after Turkmenistan reneged on its promise to supply gas to Iran last winter demanding extra charges for gas exported to Iran.
The much-awaited gas pipeline will guarantee steady supply of natural gas to regions that experienced harsh winters in the past.
Disputes over payments in January prompted Turkmenistan to stop sending gas to its southern neighbor. The terrain in northern Iran makes it difficult to provide natural gas and other energy supplies. Azerbaijan sells natural gas to the northern provinces of Iran in exchange for electricity.
The pipeline runs from Semnan Province to Mazandaran Province on the coast of the Caspian Sea. It is part of a broader network intended to distribute gas from South Pars field in the Persian Gulf to the domestic market.
For oil, the minister announced a deal was reached with his Iraqi counterpart, Jabbar al-Luabi, to conduct a feasibility study on a cross-border export pipeline from oilfields in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.
Iran has long-standing ambitions to tap regional markets. As one of the world's leading oil and gas producers, Tehran has also said it could offer the Europeans an alternative to Russian supplies.