Oman expects a speedier completion of a planned pipeline to import natural gas from Iran now that sanctions against Tehran have been lifted, reported Reuters. The pipeline will have the capacity to carry 1bcf/d, a figure that could reach to 1.5-2 bcf/d to meet rising demands in the region.

Oman’s Energy Minister, Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy, was optimistic about the prospects, saying that Oman expects to start receiving Iranian gas by 2019. The minister added: “We think we can finish the FEED [front-end engineering design] in five months’ time.” This would be followed by EPC [engineering, procurement and construction] work stretching over 2017-2018. He also explained that, with sanctions removed, his country could surmount difficulties such as ordering compressors, pipes, hire consultants, and talk to banks about financing.

The gas import from Iran is both to feed local industries and for export shipped through country’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities. The objective is to make Oman into a regional gas trading hub. The country has been trying to make use of Iran’s ample gas reserves since 2013, when it had signed a $60b gas agreement with Tehran for 25 years, but the project has been stalled until now.

Al Rumhy made these remarks during a visit by Iranian Oil Minister, Bijan Zanganeh, to Muscat, said Trade Arabia.