Turkish PM: Iran to Resume Gas Supplies by Next Week

A03341102.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) Iran is expected to resume gas exports to Turkey by the beginning of next week, ending a days-long cut forced by a supply crunch, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday.

“I talked to an envoy of (Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad. He told me they would resolve this issue by Monday at the latest,” Erdogan said in televised remarks.

“I believe they will resume the gas flow by then,” he added.

Iran halted gas shipments to Turkey on Monday, six days after it was forced to slash exports from 20 million cubic meters (706 million cubic feet) a day to 5.0 million cubic meters (177 million cubic feet).

The cut was brought about by a severe cold snap in Iran that peaked domestic consumption and a halt in gas supplies from Turkmenistan to the Islamic republic.

As a result, Turkey had to stop gas exports to neighboring Greece, media reports said.

Russia’s Gazprom said in a statement Wednesday that it had increased gas supplies to both Turkey and Greece to above previously-contracted levels.

In January 2007, Iran was forced to shut down gas exports to Turkey for five days to compensate for a domestic consumption crunch.

Turkey has been buying gas from Iran via a pipeline from the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz to Ankara since December 2001 under a deal that raised eyebrows in the United States.

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