Turkmenistan offers boosting of gas swap to lure Iran back

January 31, 2017

TEHRAN –Along with offering the resumption of negotiations over gas exports, Turkmenistan has recently proposed a 10-million-cubic-meters rise in its gas swap through Iran, Fars news agency quoted a gas official as saying on Monday.

According to the report, Turkmens, pressured by foreign currency shortage and facing Iran’s threat to refer the issue to arbitration, have recently expressed willingness to resume the negotiations and they even proposed a new offer regarding gas swap.

Iran has imported gas from Turkmenistan since 1997 for distribution in its northern provinces but the Central Asian country has stopped its gas exports to Iran since January 2017, and the two sides’ initial talks failed to reach an agreement.

“Turkmenistan proposed to increase its current level of gas swap through Iran to 15 mcm; Azerbaijan and Armenia are the destination for new volumes,” Saied Mo’meni an official in National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), told Fars.

“The country is currently sending near 6 mcm of its gas to Azerbaijan through Iran,” he said.

Since Iran is the only easy way for Turkmenistan to send its gas to Europe, the Central Asian nation is trying to keep its destination markets through this new proposal.

Being a new step toward resolving the gas dispute, the Turkmen’s offer could also be a new opportunity for Iran to become a gas hub in the region. 

EF/MA

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