Iran, Turkmenistan to continue gas deal

Business Materials 10 September 2013 11:55 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sep.10/ Trend R.Zamanov

The Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said that during his visit to Ashgabat, he has negotiated with Turkmen officials about the two countries' gas deal.

"We didn't discuss any new contract, but negotiated about the details of the previously signed contract," the IRNA News Agency quoted Zanganeh as saying.

"We intend to resume gas imports from Turkmenistan in exchange for exporting technical and engineering services to the northern neighbor," he added.

Abdol-Hamid Asadian, head of the Trade Promotion Organization's bureau for Europe and Americas said in March that Iran buys about $3 billion of natural gas from Turkmenistan a year, Bloomberg reported.

The report didn't provide details of the arrangement.

The nation, holder of the world's second-largest gas deposits, imported 12 billion cubic meters from Turkmenistan in the Iranian calendar year of 1390 (which ended on March 20, 2012).

But the figure fell to 4.5 billion cubic meters in the previous calendar year (which ended March 20).

The Mehr News Agency reported last December that Iran owes one billion dollars to Turkmenistan over gas imports.

Tightening banking and energy sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program have complicated financial transactions with the Persian Gulf country.

New U.S. sanctions that came into force last month aim to make buyers of Iranian oil pay in their local currencies, with the funds kept in escrow accounts and available for Iran -only to buy locally sourced goods and services.