TEHRAN, (Reuters) – Iran said on Sunday it would gradually resume gas exports to Turkey starting overnight on Sunday to Monday after the Islamic Republic cut flows partly because cold weather pushed up domestic demand.
“Iran’s gas flow will start from tonight (Sunday-Monday) midnight. We will start with a low volume and will increase it gradually,” Reza Kasaizadeh, the head of Iran’s national gas company, was quoted as saying by Iran’s state broadcaster.
Turkmenistan halted daily gas deliveries of up to 23 million cubic metres to Iran in late December, citing technical problems. Iranian officials say Turkmenistan wants to raise the price of its gas and have voiced increasing anger at the cut.
Iran, struggling with some of its coldest weather in decades, turned off its gas exports to Turkey on Jan. 7 to meet demand at home amid freezing temperatures.
The Islamic Republic normally exports 30 million cubic metres of natural gas to Turkey per day.
Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari said on Jan. 13 that Iran might consider stopping purchasing Turkmen gas altogether if supplies did not resume.
Iran says Turkmenistan must resume gas exports before Tehran would be prepared to enter price talks with Ashgabat.
Despite sitting on the world’s second-largest gas reserves after Russia, analysts say Iran has been slow to develop the sector due to sanctions, politics and construction delays.