Better Prospects for Turkmen Gas Trade

Better Prospects for Turkmen Gas Trade
Better Prospects for Turkmen Gas Trade

Iran and Turkmenistan are close to signing a $5 billion agreement, an advisor to the oil minister said.

“Iran imports in the region of $3 billion worth of gas from this neighboring country each year, and plans to barter 50 percent of the sum with goods and services,” said Mohammad Taghi Amanpour in his visit to Ashgabat, Fars news agency reported.

Identifying Turkmenistan as an appropriate partner for gas trade, Amanpour said, “We are already an importer of Turkmen gas and want to increase imports by $3 billion.”

The pipeline built to transfer gas from Turkmenistan, will be soon linked to Iran’s national pipeline, according to Amanpour. “We look to increase cooperation with Turkmenistan. However, in the near future, once the petrochemical complexes in Asaluyeh the in south Iran are completed, we will no longer need to rely on Turkmen gas imports.”

To this end, the Iranian companies active in Turkmenistan’s oil and gas industry have been identified and informed of the oil ministry’s plans. Moreover, Turkmen experts and managers have been invited to learn more about Iran’s infrastructure, factories and goods.

 Due to the competitive market in Turkmenistan, goods for bartering will have to be “of high quality, and competitive prices,” Amanpour said.

Numerous goods have been proposed to Turkmenistan, which are now under quality test. Bartering arrangements were planned regardless of banking sanctions imposed on Iran. “We have no problem in transferring money to Turkmenistan.”

The oil ministry has short, medium, and long-term plans in Turkmenistan.

In short-term, the ministry will help Iranian petrochemical firms in Turkmenistan to implement and complete their projects.

The medium-term plan covers projects and tenders without having certain company or individual as the operator.

“Many projects are planned, the value of which will be close to $5 billion,” Amanpour stated. Iran has been importing natural gas from Turkmenistan since 1997.

It receives Turkmen gas via several branches. The main is the Korpeje - Kurt-Kui gas pipeline, commissioned in December 1995, and with a capacity of eight billion cubic meters per year. There is potential of increasing the volume to 14 billion cubic meters.

Amanpour said in August that Iran has purchased $2.5 billion worth of natural gas from the Central Asian state in recent years.