AKIPRESS.COM - 21 Dec. 2016- Turkmenistan says Iran failed to pay $2 billion for supplied gas after introduction of sanctions in 2012, reports the Turkmen service of RFE/RL.
The Iranian news agency Fars in turn cited unnamed source in the Iranian government, who said Iran will terminate all agreements with Turkmenistan in case it does not stop its threats to stop supplying gas in winter time.
Iran's official representative said Turkmenistan should apply to international court in case it has any has gas debt claims.
In August 2016, Deputy Minister of Oil Industry Amir Husein Zamaninia admitted possibility of gas debt to Turkmenistan in an interview with Trend.
Zamaninia suggested that the gas debt may vary from $600 million to $1.5 billion, however, he said the exact figure will be known after the official talks with the Turkmen authorities. “We will need to discuss the scope of gas supplies and its form with Turkmen officials,” he said.
In October 2016, Director of the Iranian National Gas Company Hamideza Araki Tahrani said Iran does not need Turkmen gas anymore.
During the last 10 years, Turkmenistan repeatedly halted gas supplies, especially to the northern parts of neighboring Iran.
During 2007-2009, Turkmenistan stopped gas supplies to Iran over the disputes regarding gas price and debt several times. Iran had to plan construction of a gas pipeline IGAT11 through its territory up to northern parts of the country.
Since the beginning of this year, after Russia's Gazprom announced that it stops buying gas from Turkmenistan, Turkmenistan exports its gas only to China and Iran.
As a result of decline of prices for oil and gas at international market, Turkmenistan, which mainly lives on proceeds from export of energy resources, encountered such economic problems as delay in payment of salaries, shortage of products, raise of prices for food products, drop of the exchange rate of the Turkmen manat at the black market.
From March 2015 through March 2016, Iran imported 9 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas. This is almost twice more than in previous years. However, in the first half of this year, import of Turkmen gas dropped by 25% compared to the same period of the previous year.