LOS ANGELES, Feb. 13 -- Iran wants to increase its imports of natural gas from Turkmenistan and will accept a higher price, according to Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Motaki.
"Iran wants a considerable enlargement of Turkmen natural gas imports and is ready to make proposals to Turkmenistan," he told Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov by telephone on Feb. 12.
Motaki said Iran accepts a Turkmen bid to increase the gas price. He said an Iranian delegation will soon visit Turkmenistan to sign a contract.
Preliminary negotiations about the suggested increase of the Turkmen gas price from the current $42-60/1,000 cu m were held in Ashgabat on Feb. 3.
According to the Turkmen Oil and Gas Ministry, Turkmenistan delivered 5.8 bcm of gas to Iran in 2005. Contracts signed last year call for the supply of 8 bcm in 2006. Last month, Iran received about 786 million cu m of Turkmen gas.
Turkmenistan produced 7.03 bcm of gas in January, up 24% over last year, according to the country's National Statistics and Information Institute. Gas exports grew 28%.
In addition to Iran, contracts signed late last year stipulate the delivery of 30 bcm of Turkmen gas to Russia and 40 bcm to Ukraine in 2006.
Contact Eric Watkins at [email protected].