Baku, Azerbaijan, May 6
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
Iran is willing to pave the way for exporting goods to Turkmenistan in return for importing natural gas from that country, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said.
Zanganeh made the remarks in a meeting with Turkmen Vice-President Khajeh Mohammadov in Tehran on Sunday, IRNA reported
Responding to a question whether Iran has plans to export gas to Europe and thus challenge Russia as the major gas supplier, Zanganeh denied it.
The ground is well-prepared for barter trade with Turkmenistan, according to which Iran will export goods in return for purchase of the Turkmen gas, Zanganeh said.
Iran gets Turkmen gas via several branches. The Korpeje - Kurt-Kui gas pipeline, commissioned in December 1995, is the main one. Its capacity was brought to eight billion cubic meters per year with the potential of increasing the capacity to 14 billion cubic meters. The Iranian National Gas Export Company acts as a gas buyer.
Russia gets Turkmen gas via the Central Asia - Center pipeline, transited through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Gazprom acts as a buyer. It signed an agreement on gas supplies with Turkmenistan for 25 years in 2003.
At this stage, the Central Asia - Center pipeline does not fully operate. Russia temporarily stopped importing Turkmen gas because of the breakdown in April 2009. The technical issues were resolved.
Under the influence of the global recession, Russia has reduced purchases to 10-11 billion cubic meters of gas since 2010, which is four times less than earlier.
Gazprom said in September 2013 that it expects for reconsidering the terms as the Turkmen gas purchase price was determined at the peak of European prices rise. Then the price on Gazprom gas sale to Europe has been changed.