Turkmenistan Denies Halt of Gas Supplies to Iran
Tuesday 20 November 2012
TEHRAN (Fars News Agency) – Turkmenistan has resumed gas supplies to Iran after a brief stoppage for repairs in the stretch of pipeline linking the two countries, the head of Turkmenistan’s state gas company said, dismissing earlier reports that its country had halted exports of gas supplies to its neighbor for pricing reasons.
Iran buys almost a third of Turkmenistan’s exported gas, relying on it for heating in winter and using it year round to meet industrial demand in the Northern regions distant from the country’s own gas grid.
Turkmengaz Chairman Sahatmurad Mamedov said the halt was requested by Iran. He denied an Iranian news report on November 14 that the Turkmenistan and Iran were in a dispute over pricing. Mamedov said that a stretch of the pipeline between Artyk in Turkmenistan and Lutfabad in Iran had needed repairs, which had now been completed.
Iranian imports of Turkmen gas averaged just over 1 billion cubic feet a day from July 2011 to June 2012, according to the US Energy Information Agency, but imports are much higher in winter and lower in summer.
The government of Turkmenistan announced in July that the country is prepared to increase exports of electricity and natural gas to Iran. The government of Turkmenistan precised that the decision was made during the 12th meeting of Iran-Turkmenistan Joint Economic Commission in Tehran in July.