Turkmenistan abruptly halts gas exports to Iran

News ID: 3866347 -
TEHRAN, Jan. 02 (MNA) – Türkmengaz, in a questionable move, ceased natural gas exports to Iran on Sunday January 01.

Türkmengaz, the national gas company of Turkmenistan, has unexpectedly put an end to its gas exports to Iran though the gas swap process between the two countries is still in place.

Accordingly, despite the cessation in daily deployment of 10 million cubic meters of Turkmen gas to Iran, about four or five million cubic meters of gas is still being swapped between the two sides.

The flow of gas from Turkmenistan to Iran has been suspended at a time when officials of Türkmengaz and National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) recently inked an MoU for continuation of gas exchanges between the two parties.

Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh had noted earlier that the country is facing no shortage or limitation for its natural gas supply and imports from Turkmenistan are being performed mainly due to environmental issues since the imported product takes the place of liquid fuel in northern power plants.

Following the termination of gas flow to Iran by Turkmens on Sunday, Zanganeh issued special orders on stable and reliable supply of liquid fuel to power houses and industries located in northeast of Iran.

NIGC Managing Director Abbas Kazemi made the remarks noting that Iran now enjoys a larger volume of strategic reserves of heating fuel, gas oil and fuel oil in particular, as compared to the previous year; “no concerns exist as regards stable supply and distribution of the product to power stations.

He reassured that three routes were available for gas supply to northeastern plants including pipeline, road oil tankers as well as railroad; “on the other hand, the volume of gas exports has soared since last year and no shortage will be experienced by proper consumption on the part of people,” he added.

NIGC, in a statement, announced that the gas imports from Turkmenistan were cut of due to sabotage of the Central Asian state and invited Iranians to optimize gas consumption accordingly.

The statement reads that, based on a 20-year-old contract between National Iranian Gas Company and Türkmengaz, a portion of gas demand northern Iran is supplied with Turkmen gas.

“In the meantime, occasionally, acts contrary to terms of contract have been performed by the Turkmen side the most important of which being the termination of gas exports in the winter of 2006 and the consequent nine-fold rise in gas prices resulting from the unreasonable demand made by Türkmengaz.”

“Fortunately, in view of efforts made over the past three years, all sums for gas purchase were fully paid to the Turkmen company and negotiations have kicked off over repayment of outstanding debts while maintaining Iran’s claims for quantitative and qualitative damages which were agreed upon during recent talks.”

“One again, right at the opening of the cold season, Türkmengaz has stopped gas exports to Iran on claims that the amount in dispute needs to be paid off immediately.”

“Given that the measure taken by Turkmenistan is against contract provisions, Iran insists on its positions and invites the nation to optimize consumption. Moreover, with efforts of oil industry employees, natural gas production has reached a level which alleviates the need for imports,” highlights the statement.

HA/3866016/3865962/3865978

Comment

4 + 10 =