Iran will start exporting gas to Iraq later this week, according to Iran’s oil minister, after significant of delays during construction and payment negotiations.

The gas will be fed to Iraq’s gas network from Iran’s sixth gas trunkline (IGAT 6), connecting to Basra in southern Iraq. The gas is sourced from the offshore South Pars gas field, which Iran shares with Qatar.

Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Zangeneh was quoted by Iran’s Tasnim news agency saying that Iran will begin pumping gas through the pipeline on 24 January.

The two countries signed a six-year deal in November 2015 that calls for Iran to export 25 million cubic metres a day (883 million cubic feet a day) of natural gas to its neighbour.

Although Iran is the world’s second largest producer of gas, its exports are currently limited to a pipeline to Turkey. Iraq, one of the world’s biggest oil exporters, is only a marginal gas producer.