Iran, Turkmenistan to Meet in Oct on Gas Deal

A003958710.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Iran has reached a framework for pricing gas imports from Turkmenistan following a supply dispute last winter, with a senior official in Tehran saying the deal will be finalized once Ramadan ends next week.

Turkmenistan halted deliveries of up to 23 million cubic meters of gas per day to Iran in December, blaming technical problems. Iranian officials said then that Ashgabat wanted a higher gas price. Pumping has resumed but Iran has sought more.

“There will be a meeting with Turkmen officials after the holy month of Ramadan to finalize the price of gas imports from that country,” Reza Kasaizadeh, head of the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC), told the Islamic republic news agency.

The report said that a general framework for pricing gas had been reached, and quoted Kasaizadeh as saying, “The price of gas will change from fixed to a floating condition and it will depend on the price of crude oil.”

The two countries were discussing the base price for gas from Turkmenistan, the report said. Based on the agreement so far, Iran will import around 30 million cubic meters of gas in the Iranian year that runs to March.

Iran’s Turkmen imports help supply Iran’s north which is far from its vast southern gas fields and difficult to reach via the Iranian national grid. Iran, in turn, exports some gas to Turkey and is discussing a pipeline deal with India and Pakistan, Reuters said.

Turkmenistan’s move to cut supplies created shortages inside Iran last winter, the coldest in decades, and some have questioned whether the government is prepared for the next cold spell. Iranian officials have said they can meet Iran’s needs.

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