Diplomat: Iran, Turkey agree on more gas exports

Diplomat: Iran, Turkey agree on more gas exports
Iran's Ambassador to Ankara Ali-Reza Bigdeli said on Tuesday that Iran and Turkey have reached agreement on increase in import of gas from Iran by Turkey at a relatively modified price.

'I foresee a bright prospect for energy cooperation between Iran and Turkey. Based on a deal for export of gas from Iran to Turkey, both countries are entitled to refer to the international court of arbitration to reconsider gas prices. However, based on the information at hand, the body has not yet issued its second ruling,' said Bigdeli.

The Tukish anti-government media recently announced that after victory in the first phase of international arbitration, Iran has also won in the second round and international court of arbitration has voted against Turkey.

Bigdeli said if the ruling of international arbitration is made clear, both countries will adhere to that. 'Referring to the international arbitration is part of implementation of the accord.'

The diplomat said Iran and Turkey have reached agreement in principle on increase in the amount of gas flow from Iran to Turkey as well as relative discount Iran gives to the country.

He specified that gas deal is the most important document for cooperation between Iran and Turkey.

The agreement has been passed in parliaments of both countries and turned into a law, said Bigdeli, adding that based on the law, Iran should annually export 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey and Ankara in turn pays due cash to Iran. 'So the case of lowering gas price will not be settled on a single person's decision. Hence, there should be another agreement and it should be passed by Majlis.'

Under a contract signed in 1996, Turkey imports 10 billion cubic meters per year of gas from Iran. The contract went into effect in 2001. Turkey depends on gas imports, estimated to stand at 52 billion cubic meters this year.

Turkey’s annual gas consumption is around 50 bcm. Turkey imports 27 bcm of gas from Russia and 6 bcm from Azerbaijan, as well as 10 bcm from Iran.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told Reuters in an interview on Jan. 30 that Turkey could double the amount of natural gas it imports from Iran if the two countries can agree on a price.

Turkey is keen to increase oil and gas imports from Tehran in anticipation of sanctions against Iran's huge energy sector being dismantled in the wake of an interim nuclear deal last year between Tehran and six big powers aimed at curbing the country's sensitive nuclear activities.

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