Iran Starts Gas Imports from Azerbaijan

A01128862.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) – Iran has begun importing 1 million cubic meters of natural gas per day from Azerbaijan, in an apparent move to help compensate for shortages caused by a cut in Turkmen deliveries.

The supplies will be in addition to a daily 1.1 million cubic meters of Azeri gas deliveries for transit through Iran to another part of Azerbaijan, said Ebadollah Ghanbari, a spokesman for the National Iranian Gas Company.

He told ISNA the new gas imports from Azerbaijan started 20 days ago and were being used to meet a shortage in parts of northwestern Iran, while the country would pay the same price as that paid to Turkmenistan.

But Ghanbari said the supplies from Azerbaijan were not intended to replace deliveries from Turkmenistan, which stopped its daily exports of 23 million cubic meters to Iran in December at the height of the cold season, citing technical problems.

Iranian officials have suggested Turkmenistan’s real aim was to raise the price of its gas and voiced anger at the cut, which led to criticism of the government in the north of Iran where supply shortages were felt.

Ghanbari said Turkmenistan had not as yet resumed its deliveries but that the NIGC was reviewing the Central Asian republic’s new price proposals.

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