Iran resumes gas exports to Turkey

July 3, 2020 - 12:47

TEHRAN - Iran has resumed natural gas exports to Turkey after a three-month hiatus, Shana reported quoting an official with the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC).

According to the Acting Head of Dispatching Department Mohammad Reza Julaei, gas export is now ongoing in compliance with the previous commitments of the two countries.

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.

The explosion occurred near the Bazargan border crossing on Turkish soil. Turkey had undertaken to repair the pipeline and compensate for the damages.

In a visit to Istanbul in mid-June, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called for efforts to restart the export of natural gas to Turkey after carrying out necessary repairs to the pipeline.

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.