( AFP ) - Iran began pumping natural gas to Turkey on Sunday after cutting supplies for three weeks, but the flow was far less than normal, the Anatolia news agency reported.
The gas began flowing at around 4:00 pm (1400 GMT) at a rate of between 1.5 and 2.0 million cubic metres a day, far bellow the usual 29 million cubic metres a day, the agency said.
Turkish energy officials said they expected the amount to gradually increase in the coming days, the NTV news channel said.
Iran turned off the pipeline between the two neighbours on January 7, citing cold weather and a consumption crunch.
In addition to the cold snap in Iran that peaked domestic consumption, Turkmenistan also stopped sending gas to the Islamic republic.
Turkey in turn was forced to stop its gas exports to western neighbour Greece and increase its imports from Russia.
In January last year, Iran stopped gas supplies to Turkey for five days to compensate for a similar domestic increase in consumption.
Turkish officials have said Ankara and Tehran are considering a long-term plan to build a second pipeline to bypass Iranian cities, which are also supplied by the existing conduit between the two countries.
Turkey has been buying gas from Iran via a pipeline from the northwestern city of Tabriz to Ankara since December 2001 under a deal that raised eyebrows in the United States.
Implementation of the agreement has been far from smooth, Ankara claiming that the gas is overpriced and its quality and quantity often under the standards agreed.