Nicosia, Jan.24 : Iran has expressed dismay and anger over a move by Turkmenistan to halt shipment of gas, which till last year averaged 8.4 billion cubic meters a year.
The Turkmenistan Government, however, claims that the shipments were stopped owing to technical problems, including Tehran's refusal to pay for the maintenance of the pipeline. According to reports in Iran, Turkmenistan President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov wants to cancel an agreement reached with Tehran last year for the supply of 14 billion cubic meters of gas a year at 75 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters. He wants to raise the price to 140 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters.
The halting of Turkmen gas shipments has forced Tehran to reduce the amount of gas it is re-injecting into its oilfields and use most of the available gas for domestic purposes.
Before the row, Iran was reinjecting about 80 million cubic meters of gas a day to maintain its current production of around four million barrels of oil a day from the Iran's aging oilfields.
The Iranian Parliament is mounting pressure on their government to file a complaint against Turkmenistan to an international court over the issue.