Turkish Energy Minister Delays Iran Visit

A02391832.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- The Turkish energy minister’s trip to Iran to firm up energy deals between the two countries is expected to be delayed by two weeks until mid-September, an energy ministry source said on Thursday.

In 2007 Energy Minister Hilmi Guler signed a series of agreements with Iranian officials, including the production and exportation of gas as well as electricity production.

“Guler’s trip to Tehran this week will not happen. An agreement was expected with Iran on this visit, but the expected progress could not be made,” the senior energy ministry source told Reuters.

“A delegation from (Turkish petrol firm) TPAO is still in talks in Iran,” he said.

Iran and Turkey failed to conclude expected energy accords during Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Turkey earlier this month. Washington, which is trying to pressure Tehran to give up its nuclear program, opposes the deal.

Iran and Turkey last year signed a preliminary accord on joint gas production and export under which Iranian gas would be exported to Europe through Turkey and Turkey would produce 20.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the South Pars gas field. The investment would amount to $3.5 billion.

The source said the proposed buy-back system created “serious risks” for Turkey in terms of pricing. Turkey wants to buy gas directly from the fields and wants Iran to give a guarantee on contributing towards investments.

The state-run Anatolian Agency reported Guler would visit Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan as well in September.

Guler will first pay a visit to Turkmenistan and hold talks on natural gas contracts with Turkmen officials, AA reported.

Guler will later travel to Azerbaijan to attend an international natural gas conference on September 9-10th.

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