Tehran and Islamabad have started a new round of negotiations on increasing the volume of Irans natural gas exports to Pakistan.
Deputy Oil Minister Javad Oji said that the talks were held in the Iranian capital, Tehran, following a request by the Pakistani side in September for increasing the level of exports from 21.5 to 30 million cubic meters per day.
In June 2009, Tehran and Islamabad signed a 25-year agreement, commencing from February 2014, based on which Iran agreed to export 7.8 billion cubic meters of its natural gas to Pakistan per annum through a multi-billion-dollar pipeline.
Iran has no restrictions in raising the volume of natural gas exports to Pakistan, Oji told Mehr News Agency.
Managing Director of the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) Hossein Bidarmaghz earlier announced Irans readiness to start gas exports even prior to the agreed 2014 timeline.
According to the NIGEC chief, Iran has completed 800 km of the 960-km Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, and the remaining 160 km can be laid by the next year and gas exports to Pakistan can begin 2012.
Iran ranks second in the world in natural gas resources after Russia with available gas reserves estimated at over 33 trillion cubic meters.
In addition to exporting gas to Turkey, Armenia, and Pakistan, the country is currently negotiating gas exports to Iraq.