ECONOMY

Turkey says that Iran has pledged to restore full gas flow very soon

ANKARA (Reuters) – Iran yesterday promised to restore its natural gas exports to Turkey in full after heavy domestic consumption forced it to suspend them over the past few days, Turkish officials said. «We have had talks with the Iranian officials. They promised to bring the gas flow back to the contracted level by today,» a senior official of Botas, Turkey’s state-run pipeline company, told Reuters. «Since last night some 1 million cubic meters have been pumped from Iran. Even though the supply is not without interruptions, the gas is flowing. We expect the Iranians to keep their promise,» the official said. Iran’s daily shipments of 27 million cubic meters of gas normally make up around one-third of Turkey’s total imports. Supplies were halted last weekend after cold weather in Iran drove up domestic consumption. Tehran apologized to Ankara for the disruption, which was not the first time this winter that supplies have fallen. The Botas official said Turkey had covered its shortfall with Russian natural gas from the Blue Stream pipeline across the Black Sea, averting problems for Turkish consumers. Last month, Iranian gas exports to Turkey fell by nearly 75 percent due to technical problems. Turkey has sought international arbitration against Iran after previous failures to meet contract conditions.