It will take at least four years for Oman to establish an undersea pipeline to import gas from Iran, according to the sultanate’s Oman’s Oil and Gas Minister Mohammed bin Hamed al-Rumhy.

The estimate comes contrary to a statement by Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, who was reported by the Iranian media in August saying the pipeline would be completed in less than two years.

“We are currently doing a survey to find out the optimum distance and characteristics of the seabed and all that goes with it,” Al-Rumhy told local reporters at a conference in Muscat on 21 October.

For Iran to export gas to Oman, the countries would need to build a pipeline across the Gulf of Oman, whih separates the two countries.

Iran, which is estimated to have the largest reserves of gas in the world, only has one major export pipeline – to Turkey – and has had little energy cooperation with the GCC countries across the Gulf.