Iran General NewsIran resumes gas exports to Turkey

Iran resumes gas exports to Turkey

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AFP: Iran has resumed gas exports to Turkey after a five-day cut due to a supply crunch at home brought on by cold weather. ANKARA (AFP) – Iran has resumed gas exports to Turkey after a five-day cut due to a supply crunch at home brought on by cold weather.

“Iran has begun pumping gas. The problem has been taken care of,” Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler was quoted by the NTV news channel’s Internet site as saying Sunday.

The Anatolia news agency said Iran pumped nearly 3.5 million cubic metres (125 million cubic feet) by Sunday noon (1000 GMT) and was expected to gradually increase the gas flow.

The managing director of National Iranian Oil Company, Gholam Hossein Nozari, said Iran had resumed exports at 1:00 am (2130 GMT Saturday) after a refinery begun pumping gas into the national grid.

“With decreased domestic consumption, gas exports to Turkey were possible, based on the (exports) contract,” Nozari was quoted by Iran state television as saying.

The cut in Iranian gas exports since Wednesday had forced Turkey to increase gas supplies from Russia.

Turkey has been buying gas from Iran via a pipeline from the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz to Ankara since December 2001 under a deal that raised eyebrows in the United States, Turkey’s long-standing ally and Iran’s arch-foe.

Under the contract signed in 1996, Iran was obliged to supply three billion cubic metres to Turkey in the first year, with the volume rising to 10 billion cubic metres by 2007.

The implementation of the agreement, however, has been far from smooth.

The two countries are currently engaged in a legal dispute, with Turkey claiming that the gas is overpriced and that its quality and amount often fall below the terms agreed in the contract.

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