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    IRAN COMMISSIONS FIRST LEG OF ITS LARGEST GAS DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

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    TEHERAN, April 4, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Nikolai Terekhov) - Iran has commissioned the first leg of a project to develop its largest natural gas deposit, South Pars, whose proven reserves are estimated at some 12.6 trillion cubic meters, report spokespeople for the Iranian company Petropars, involved in the project.

    The first leg of the South Pars project has been commissioned, and already gas from the deposit is being supplied to customers, Petropas says in a press release.

    The South Pars field, with its gas condensate reserves totaling 60 million tons, will be developed in eight phases. The Russian gas giant Gazprom is to contribute to the project's second and third legs. Works on these two legs kicked off in February 2003.

    Iran holds as much as 18% of the world's gas reserves.

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