Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 10
By Rahim Zamanov - Trend: Tehran and Ashgabat has agreed to boost Turkmenistan's gas exports to Iran in the second half of the current Iranian calendar year (to end March 21, 2014), Deputy Oil Minister Hamdreza Araqi said on Sunday.
"The agreement was reached during oil minister's visit to Ashgabat", the Mehr News Agency quoted Araqi as saying.
"Based on the agreement, the price of the gas will not be increased in the mentioned period", he explained.
Araqi went on to note that the two sides have found new ways to settle Iran's gas debts to Turkmenistan.
Iran's gas import from Turkmenistan decreased from above 10 bcm in 2010 to 4.5 bcm last year.
It is while Iran has obligation to export annually 10 bmc of gas to Turkey.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh visited Turkmenistan two months ago to revive the gas import volume.
Mehr reported in September 2012, that Iran's debts to Ashgabat reached $1 billion due to Western sanctions over Iran's banking system.
Iran has 33.6 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration report, Iran's natural dried gas output was about 153 billion cubic meters (bcm) which is as much as the domestic consumption figures.
According to this report released in March 2013, overall, Iran's natural gas consumption is expected to grow around seven per cent annually for the next decade.
Natural gas accounted for about 59 per cent of Iran's total domestic energy consumption in 2010 with oil consumption at 39 per cent of total energy use, according to EIA.
Iran eyes boosting gas production by commencing 12 new phases of the joint South Pars gas field, but Zanganeh said there are only two, Phases 15 and16, until March 2015. Iran needs a $25 billion investment to commence remaining phases of South Pars (phases 11 to 24) to boost gas output by 300 mcbpd in 2.5 years.