Iran, Turkey to discuss renewing gas export deal in near future

November 9, 2020 - 15:56

TEHRAN – Head of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hassan Montazer Torbati said on Monday that Iran is going to discuss renewing its gas export deal with Turkey in near future.

“The discovery of the new gas field in the Black Sea has no effect on our contract and the discovered reserve is not significant compared to Turkey's demand. We will start negotiations to renew the contract in the near future,” Montazer Torbati said on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony of new gas supply projects in Fars Province.

“Gas exports to Turkey are ongoing based on the current agreement,” the official added.

He also mentioned gas exports to Afghanistan, saying: “the initial plan has been prepared and diplomatic correspondence is underway. The basis for exports to Afghanistan is the private sector however we have prepared the infrastructure.”

Back in May, Montazer Torbati had said that the conditions governing Iran’s long-term gas contracts probably undergo essential changes after the coronavirus pandemic.

Iran, for long, has been one of the most important energy suppliers to Turkey, and the two countries already have a 25-year gas supply contract.

Recently, however, the news of a gas field discovery in the Black Sea as well as new developments in Turkey's energy geopolitics have caused some speculations about the future of energy cooperation between the two neighbors, and some claim that Turkey is not going to need Iranian gas in the future.

Iran is Turkey's second-biggest supplier of natural gas after Russia. Tehran sells about 10 billion cubic meters a year of gas under a 25-year supply deal to Turkey which it uses for electricity generation.

The gas exports are carried out via a 2,577 km (1,601 miles) pipeline running from Tabriz to Ankara.

Turkey imported 7.7 billion cubic meters of gas from Iran in 2019 or some 17 percent of its total gas imports.

After the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions in November 2018, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made it clear that his country would continue to buy natural gas from the Islamic Republic.

Natural gas exports from Iran to Turkey came to a halt on March 31 after an explosion and fire at a pipeline on the Turkish side of the border; the reasons for the blast were not officially announced.

Iran resumed gas exports to Turkey after a three-month hiatus.

EF/MA

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