March 4, The Iran Project – Managing Director of National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) has announced that Iran will start exporting gas to Iraqi city of Basra from next year.
Speaking at a Conference on JCPOA and Resistance Economy on Saturday, Hamid Reza Araghi referred to the JCPOA’s achievements, explaining before the removal of international sanctions against Iran, the ships could not enter the country’s ports and this resulted to the growth of exports costs but the landmark nuclear deal removed the obstacles.
Touching upon the role of JCPOA in Iran’s gas production, NIGC managing director said the amount of the country’s gas production has recently increased so that we will catch up with Qatar by the end of this year.
Elsewhere in his remarks, he pointed to Turkmen halt of Iran gas exports and said because of increasing gas production from central fields, the country could compensate for the halt in supplies from its northern neighbor.
Araqi also underlined earlier that the country does not need Turkmenistan’s gas as it does not affect the country’s domestic needs.
A company in Turkmenistan unilaterally halted gas exports to Iran earlier in January claiming that Iran owes it $1.8 billion from sales between 2007 and 2008 when freezing winters led to severe shortages across 20 Iranian provinces, forcing the country to raise gas imports from its northeastern neighbor.
At the time, Turkmenistan pounced on the occasion to demand a nine-fold hike which yanked the price up to $360 from $40 for every 1,000 cubic meters of gas.
And, the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) announced in a statement that it had already paid for the incoming gas as well as parts of its outstanding debts to Turkmenistan which amounted to $4.5 billion “through different methods and based on goodwill”.