Iran denies halving gas exports to Turkey
Gas flow from Iran to Turkey has returned to normal after a temporary fall in pressure at a dispatching station, officials from the two countries say.
“The gas flow has now reached the contractual volume of 30 million cubic meters a day after a technical problem was resolved by the Turkish side,” dispatching director of the National Iranian Gas Co Manouchehr Taheri said on Wednesday.
The volume of gas flow fell at 16:00 local time Monday after a turbo-compressor at a gas distribution station in Turkey faced a technical glitch, the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum’s Shana news agency quoted him as saying.
Taheri said NIGC technicians are currently working to boost the gas pressure and stabilize it. Iran exports gas to Turkey via a 2,577 km (1,601 miles) pipeline running from Tabriz to Ankara.
A Turkish energy official, quoted by Reuters, confirmed gas flows from Iran had returned to normal.
Some Turkish media reports had claimed that Iran had halved the volume of natural gas flows to Turkey. Iran’s embassy officials in Ankara dismissed the claims as “baseless”, the state news agency IRNA reported.
Turkey is currently locked in a diplomatic dispute with Russia which provides for 60% of Turkish gas needs. Iran is the second supplier of gas to Turkey, accounting for 30% of the country’s needs.
Turkish state pipeline operator Botas has cut gas usage to 50% of capacity at some power stations to preserve gas for winter amid expectations of adverse weather conditions, Reuters quoted energy officials as saying Wednesday.
Turkish leaders have already begun searching for new energy sources, mindful of serious repercussions if Moscow chose to cut gas exports to punish Ankara over its downing of a Russian bomber in Syria.
Turkey is said to be looking at the possibility of boosting imports from Iran. On Monday, an official dismissed reports that Iran had ramped up supplies to its northwestern neighbor.
Head of the gas measuring station on the Bazargan border Sadeq Akbarpour said ran continues gas exports to Turkey at normal levels.
Iran must supply Turkey with a maximum 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year under a 25-year deal signed in 1996.
Akbarpour said exports of additional gas are not possible under the existing contract and the two countries have to sign a new deal for any increase.