Reuters: Turkmenistan wants to raise the price of gas it sells to Iran but Tehran argues that the two sides agreed not to change it in a contract signed last year, a senior Iranian official was quoted as saying on Wednesday. TEHRAN, Jan 2 (Reuters) – Turkmenistan wants to raise the price of gas it sells to Iran but Tehran argues that the two sides agreed not to change it in a contract signed last year, a senior Iranian official was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
“They believe that, as they increased the price of gas they export to Russia, they should raise the price of gas they export to Iran,” Reza Kasaizadeh, who heads the state gas company, was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.
“But the signed contract between the two countries is important to us and one should act based on that,” he said.
Kasaizadeh said he based his comments on information from Iran’s foreign minister, following a visit by an Iranian delegation to Turkmenistan last week.
Iranian officials this week said Turkmenistan had halted daily deliveries of up to 23 million cubic metres to Iran, blaming it on technical problems. But some Iranian media have suggested it might be linked to a pricing dispute.
Iran, a small net importer despite its huge gas reserves, gets about 5 percent of its needs from its northern neighbour and the supply disruptions caused shortages in some areas as well as a reduction in Iran’s gas exports to Turkey.
Kasaizadeh said Turkmenistan had cited emergency repairs as the main reason for stopping gas deliveries.
But he also said the two sides had discussed the price of gas at the meeting in Turkmenistan last week. Discussions had been due to continue in Tehran this week but have been delayed after the Turkmen supply cut, he said.
He said that attached to a contract signed last year to increase the gas price was an agreement that they would not rise further during the next three years.
“Based on that it was supposed that during the next three years we wouldn’t have any rise in the price of gas we import from Turkmenistan,” Kasaizadeh said.
(Reporting by Zahra Hosseinian, writing by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by William Hardy)