Iran has offered Turkmenistan a new proposal to pay off its gas debts and revive a contract on the import of gas from the Central Asian country, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji said.
In an interview with Tasnim news agency, Owji said Iran has put forward its proposal for the settlement of gas debts to Turkmenistan and revival of a contract to import gas from the neighboring country.
The Turkmens are currently considering Iran’s suggestions, the minister added.
He also raised the possibility of resumption of gas trade between the two neighbors with the revival of the contract. “This would basically benefit both countries. The negotiations about it will continue.”
Asked about plans to deal with a shortage of gas in the wintertime, Owji said arrangements have been made at the pipelines and compressor stations, noting that liquid fuel has also been stored for industries and power plants.
“We are trying (to make sure) that people in the household sector would not face any problem in the winter as much as possible,” the minister said.
In comments on October 26, Owji said an overdue debt to Turkmenistan for imports of natural gas in the past will be settled for good.
“Luckily we had good talks for settling the debt to Turkmenistan based on preparations we had carried out,” Owji said after meeting a senior delegation from Turkmenistan led by the country’s Foreign Minister Rashid Moradov.
In a ruling issued last year, the International Court of Arbitration (ICC) endorsed claims by Turkmenistan’s state-run gas company Turkmengaz that it is owed around $1.5 billion by the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) in arrears related to the supply of gas to Iran over 10 years to 2017.
The two companies have agreed to keep details of the ICC ruling confidential while the Iranian Oil Ministry has dismissed reports that the ICC has ordered Iran to pay $500 million in interest and fines on delayed payments related to the gas deal.