Iran’s Northern Province No Longer Dependent on Turkmenistan’s Gas

Iran’s Northern Province No Longer Dependent on Turkmenistan’s Gas

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The managing director of the Iranian Gas Engineering and Development Company (IGEDC) announced that with the coming on stream of a new pipeline, the northern province of Mazandaran is no longer in need of natural gas from neighboring Turkmenistan.

Speaking at a Tuesday ceremony to inaugurate the pipeline that stretches from the northern city of Damghan in Semnan Province to Neka in Mazandaran Province, Hassan Montazer Torbati hailed the project and said it has been financed from domestic resources.

“With the coming on stream of this project, gas supply in Mazandaran Province is no longer dependent on imports from Turkmenistan,” he noted.

The official also noted that the pipeline has a capacity to transfer 40 million cubic meters per day (mcm/d), adding that it has a length of 170 kilometers.

Turkmenistan cut off gas supplies to Iran on January 1, saying Iran should clear its outstanding debts.

Later, Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Central Asian country is ready to continue gas talks with Iran, but also has the right to take the dispute to arbitration.

The statement also claimed that Iran’s debt stemmed from the National Iranian Gas Company’s failure to abide by the “take or pay” provision of the gas supply contract.

Iran has imported natural gas from Turkmenistan since 1997 for distribution in the north of the country, furthest from the gas resources in the south.

Turkmens occasionally raise their prices in the wintertime. In 2006, during days of freezing temperatures and blizzard in Iran, Turkmenistan cut off gas shipments and demanded a nine-fold price increase.