TEHRAN (Iran News) – Oil Minister Javad Owji says the country has reached agreements with Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan to double the amount of natural gas exchanged between the three as part of a deal reached in November.
Owji said on Thursday that Iran, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan had almost finalized agreements for doubling the volume of gas mentioned in their swap deal.
Under the current agreement, Turkmenistan supplies 5-6 million cubic meters per day of gas to Iran’s northeastern regions while Iran supplies the same amount to Azerbaijan on its northwestern border.
“Fortunately, everything is ready for the increase (of the volume) in the gas swap agreement and it will be doubled very soon,” Owji told reporters in the Azerbaijani capital Baku, where he held talks with senior government officials and attended an energy forum.
The Iranian oil minister said the increase had been discussed in talks in Tehran, Baku and Ashgabat in recent months.
Owji had indicated in January that the country has the capacity and infrastructure required to increase the volume of gas swapped with Turkmenistan to 40 mcm per day or 10-15 billion cubic meters per year.
Iran’s current administrative government has hailed the gas swap operation with Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan as a major success in the field of energy diplomacy.
Experts say the deal has allowed Iran to deepen its economic ties with the two neighbors. Reports say Iranian state and private firms have signed major deals with counterparts in Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan in recent months.
Reports in the Iranian media published last week suggested that Iran is working on similar oil and gas swap arrangements with Russia, a country where energy exports have been targeted by Western
Meanwhile Owji and Azerbaijani Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov signed a memorandum of understanding to increase Turkmen gas transfers through Iran to Azerbaijan.
Owji met and held talks with Jabbarov on Friday in Baku, Azerbaijan.
During the meeting, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding on enhancing mutual cooperation.
Under the memorandum of understanding, the parties agreed to double the volume of gas transported from Turkmenistan to the Republic of Azerbaijan via Iranian lines.
The two sides also discussed other economic issues of mutual interest in the areas of energy, oil, gas, transportation, and bilateral trade.