A report by Iranian Oil Ministry’s news service on Saturday said that Iran and Turkey had held ministerial-level talks in Ankara a day earlier to discuss renewing a 25-year gas supply contract or working out a new deal that could allow Iran to increase supplies to Turkey after 2026.
The report by the Shana news agency said that Iran’s Oil Minister Javad Owji had met senior Turkish government ministers and officials to discuss key issues in energy cooperation between the two countries.
It said that a main point of discussion was to set up a new gas exports pipeline across the border between Iran and Turkey.
The two countries also discussed a lowering of Turkey’s tariffs on imports of petrochemical products from Iran, the report added.
Turkey relies on Iran for nearly 9 billion cubic meters per year of its natural gas demand. Ankara has indicated it will be willing to increase imports from Iran if the two countries can reach a sustainable framework on price and capacity issues.
However, former CEO of the National Iranian Gas Company Hamid Reza Araqi said on Saturday that it will be unlikely for Iran and Turkey to work out a new gas supply mechanism that could allow an increase in Iranian gas exports to Turkey.
Araqi told the semi-official ISNA news agency that a main obstacle to increasing gas supplies to Turkey is a growing domestic demand for natural gas inside Iran.
He suggested that Iran may seek to increase its gas exports to Iraq rather than to Turkey due to better price arrangements and the fact that the Arab country will experience a major increase in demand for natural gas in the upcoming years.