SHANA- Turkmenistan has cut its gas supplies to Iran in an unexpected move one day after the two neighboring countries announced they had reached an agreement to continue their gas cooperation for at least 5 years.
Reacting to the move by the national gas company of Turkmenistan, Turkmengaz, the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) issued a statement on Sunday:
NIGC Statement on Türkmengaz Cutting Gas Supply to Iran
The esteemed Iranian nation,
Please be informed that:
The National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) and Türkmengaz signed a gas deal some 20 years ago for supply of a part of the gas consumed in Iran’s northern provinces by the Turkmen company.
However, over the course of these 20 years, the Turkmen side has, from time to time, acted in such manners that would violate the deal and the spirit of good neighbor policy. An example of such behavior was curtailing gas supply to Iran in 2007 during the penetrating cold snap of the same year which forced the then-Iranian administration to undergo the unreasonable demand of Türkmengaz for a 9-time price rise in the gas it supplies Iran.
Over the past three years, Iran has fully settled its debts to the Turkmen side based on the price agreed upon in the aforementioned deal, and talks began between the two companies for settling the issue and repayment of delayed debts with Iran claiming it has also undergone quality and quantity losses in the deal. The two sides reached an agreement in their latest round of talks.
However, in an unanticipated move and disregarding the agreement, the Turkmen company has curtailed gas supply to Iran since this morning (Sunday, January 1, 2017).
Regarding the fact that such a move by Turkmengaz is sheer violation of the gas deal between the two companies, we [NIGC] insist on our stance in the dispute and call on the Iranian nation to optimize gas consumption.
We shall also proudly announce that Iran’s gas output has risen so much in the past 3 years that no more imports of the item would be needed and lack of supply in the cold could be met by conservation of gas in power plants, industries and the household sector.
Furthermore, please be informed that our colleagues in the petroleum industry and the NIGC have set arrangements to prevent any gas cuts in the household sector so that with the help of God and people’s cooperation, this cold will be passed behind with minimum problems.