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Thu 10 May 2007 01:46 PM

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Bahrain looks to Iran for gas imports

The kingdom's declining gas reserves prompt talks over a new pipeline deal.

Bahrain has begun talks with Iran over a pipeline deal to import gas to the kingdom by 2015, according to Bahrain News Agency (BNA).

Bahrain's Minister of Oil and Gas Affairs, Dr. Abduhussain Mirza yesterday revealed that negotiations between the two countries are intended to help the kingdom meet its future energy needs as its own gas reserves decline.

"Bahrain has adequate gas to cover its requirements for a few years to come, but what we need to do is discover new gas or to import gas from places where there is a large quantity," he was quoted as saying by the BNA.

"Iran has expressed a willingness to supply Bahrain with gas," Dr. Mirza told Bahrain's Gulf Daily News paper yesterday.

New pipelines would be built between the nations once the negotiations are complete, however "the conclusion of talks could still be years away," he said.

The Minister said that Bahrain is facing a decline in its gas reserves while there is a steadily rising demand for electricity generation in the country.

"Bahrain has been examining all its options regarding natural gas in order to avoid an impending supply shortage including taking appropriate measures to improve energy efficiency," he added.

According to Gulf Daily News, Dr. Mirza said that negotiations with Iran are set to move forward with meetings planned before the end of the year between a technical team from Bahrain and their Iranian counterparts to discuss issues such as price and the method of supply.

Bahrain is also engaged in ongoing talks with Saudi Arabia and Qatar about another possible pipeline.  Qatar, with which Bahrain has been in negotiations for the past two years, has the third largest proven natural gas reserves in the world after Russia and Iran.

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