Monday, July 13, 2009

Turkmenistan plans gas pipeline to supply Iran from field previously reserved for Russia

Associated Press Writer 11:06 AM
PDT, July 12, 2009
ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) — Turkmenistan has agreed to build a new pipeline to supply natural gas to Iran from a field previously reserved for deliveries to Russia, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry said in a statement Sunday.The deal appears to be part of an effort by the energy-rich Central Asian nation to reduce its dependence on Russia, the main market for its gas exports.
Under the deal, Turkmenistan will increase its gas deliveries to Iran to 14 billion cubic meters a year, the ministry said. Iran currently buys up to 8 billion cubic meters annually from Turkmenistan under a 25-year contract dating back to 1997, when the 125-mile (200-kilometer) Korpeje-Kurt Kui gas pipeline began operating.Six billion cubic meters will be sourced from the Dauletabad field in southeastern Turkmenistan, which is currently earmarked for deliveries to Russia, the Foreign Ministry statement said. Turkmen authorities have said the new pipeline to Iran will be operational by the end of the year. ... Dowamy - دووامی

1 comment:

  1. Dauletabad has been used since Soviet times as the main source for gas deliveries to Russia through the Central Asia-Center pipeline. Russia exports much of the gas it gets from Turkmenistan to Europe.

    Turkmen gas deliveries to Russia have been suspended since April as the countries bicker over a pipeline blast that damaged a major pipeline that transports Turkmen gas to Russia. The route has been repaired but supplies have not resumed amid mutual recriminations over the explosion.

    For the moment, the supply suspension seems to have provided some relief to Russia, which has been hit by low demand and prices on world markets and is seeking to decrease the price it pays Turkmenistan for the volume of gas it receives. But Turkmenistan has sent signals that it is stepping up efforts to diversify its exports, which could leave Russia in trouble if demand and prices pick up.

    President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov said Friday that Turkmenistan is prepared to provide natural gas for Nabucco, a planned pipeline backed by the U.S. and the European Union. Nabucco is seen as a rival of Russia's South Stream project and a bid to decrease dependence on Russia, which now provides the EU with about one-quarter of the gas it needs.

    Last month, China secured a 30-year deal under which it will increase the volume of gas it buys from Turkmenistan annually to 40 billion cubic meters as of next year. Work on a 4,300-mile (7,000-kilometer) pipeline from Turkmenistan to China is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

    Turkmenistan has long exported nearly all its gas to Russia, with the exception being what it sent to Iran.

    A high-level Iranian delegation visited Turkmenistan on Saturday to negotiate a pricing formula for gas sales, but Turkmen authorities did not disclose any specific information about the agreed price. Talks included consideration of eventually increasing supplies to Iran to 20 billion cubic meters annually, the Foreign Ministry said.

    Some experts have voiced doubt that Turkmenistan could meet all its supply obligations, but the government insists there is enough gas to supply all buyers. Turkmenistan estimates its total reserves at more than 20 trillion cubic meters, but industry observers have questioned that figure.
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