EghtesadOnline: Iran has exported 5.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Turkey during the first six months of the current fiscal year (March 21–Sept. 22) through the Bazargan district, a border crossing in West Azarbaijan Province northwest of Iran, the managing director of Iranian Gas Transmission Company said.
"Gas export to Turkey stood at 8 billion cubic meters in 2016. Daily supplies have reached 30 million cubic meters per day on average this year," Saeed Tavakkoli was also quoted as saying by IRNA on Wednesday.
As per the agreement signed between the two sides in 1996, Iranian Gas Transmission Company, a subsidiary of National Iranian Gas Company, should deliver a certain amount of gas to the neighboring state per annum. Nonetheless, export level may fluctuate in different months based on the domestic demand in Iran.
The country pumps most of its natural gas for export from South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf, according to Financial Tribune.
According to the official, exports normally experience a decline in winter and rise in scorching summer months.
Asked about the gas transmission network to deliver the strategic fuel, Tavakkoli said there is not a fixed gas pipeline to transfer gas to Turkey.
"Iran's export network is flexible and extended enough to be able to face delivery challenges in different periods," he said, adding that natural gas is sent to Turkey from a series of routes, one of which branches off from Qazvin Province, northwest of Tehran, which is extended up to Tabriz in East Azarbaijan, and finally ends up in Bazargan border.
Pointing to other ongoing ventures to further diversify the path to export gas to Turkey, he said the 9th Iran Gas Trunkline (IGAT-9) will be another option when it is completed.
IGAT-9 is a 1,900-kilometer prospective pipeline that will stretch from the southern city of Asalouyeh in Bushehr Province through Ahvaz, Dehgolan and eventually Bazargan.
"Upon completion, the pipeline will have the capacity to transfer 100 million cubic meters of natural gas per day," he said.
Iran, which started selling gas to Turkey in 2001, is the second largest gas supplier to the country, delivering 10 billion cubic meters annually. Iran signed a contract in 1996 to export up to 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year to Turkey over 25 years. But Turkey's state-owned oil and gas company Botas appealed in March 2012 to the International Court of Arbitration, claiming that Tehran had overcharged.
The court ruled in November 2016 that Iran supplied gas to Turkey at a higher price compared to other producers in the region and must cut its exported gas price by approximately 13%.
According to Tavakkoli, Iran exported 1.2 billion cubic meters of gas to Iraq since late June.
"Iran has planned for the export of up to 25 million cubic meters of gas per day to Baghdad," he noted, adding that exports of up to 25 million cubic meters of gas per day to Basra will start as soon as Iraq is ready to accept the delivery.
Iran signed two contracts to export gas, one for the Iraqi capital Baghdad and the other for the southern Iraqi city of Basra, Iranian state media reported in June.
Iran has embarked on diversifying its gas market on the back of increasing output from South Pars, a major natural gas deposit it shares with Qatar in the Persian Gulf.
Government data show the country is producing over 800 million cubic meters of gas daily, more than two-thirds of which come from South Pars.