Turkmenistan Breaching the Gas Contract

Turkmenistan Breaching the Gas ContractTurkmenistan Breaching the Gas Contract

Turkmenistan is required to deliver 40 million cubic meters (mcm) of gas to Iran, the operations manager of National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) stated, but Turkmenistan had never complied with the terms of contract.

Gholam-Hossein Samari asserted that Turkmenistan had never dispatched more than 23-24 mcm of gas, although Iran has been prepared to receive the scheduled 40 mcm. 

"We will be pursuing this issue contractually, although to date we have not raised the matter formally and have not appealed to international law," Samari said, adding: "For now we are pursuing the matter between the two countries."

The official referred to the similar breaches in 1392 (2013) when Turkmenistan stopped gas flows to Iran. He did not mention a cause, but shutoffs could be attributed either to payment issues on the Iranian side or to pipeline maintenance.   

With international sanctions on its energy and financial sectors, which cut off its access to European and US financial sectors, Iran often has trouble making international payments for resources.

Despite having the second-largest proven gas reserves in the world, sanctions have also hindered Iran from developing its gas sector.

Regarding the Shourijeh gas storage facility inaugurated in the Khorasan Razavi Province last week, Samari stressed, "Operations from Shourijeh will not relieve us from requiring Turkmenistan's gas entirely, but the storage facility will help to prevent any crises and prevent Turkmenistan from causing us any difficulties," ILNA reported.

The Shourijeh facility with a capacity of 4.8 billion cubic meters puts Iran in the lead regionally in terms of gas storage and fifth in the world. 

The facility will supply gas to North Khorasan, Khorasan Razavi, Mazandaran, Gilan and Ardebil provinces on the northern, northeastern and northwestern flanks, and will secure gas supply during peak demand and in cold seasons.