News ID: 174854
Published: 0638 GMT December 31, 2016

Iran, Turkmenistan agree to continue gas cooperation for five years

Iran, Turkmenistan agree to continue gas cooperation for five years

Iran and Turkmenistan agreed to continue cooperation in the gas sector for a period of five years, a senior Iranian official said on Saturday.

Managing Director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hamidreza Araqi pointed to enhanced Tehran-Ashgabat ties and said that the two countries have agreed to continue gas trade for at least the next five years, Shana reported.

Araqi visited Turkmenistan last week for talks with Turkmen officials on cooperation in the gas sector and exploring avenues for furthering energy ties between the two countries.

He said NIGC and Turkmengaz have reached an understanding for export and swap of natural gas between Iran and Turkmenistan as well as sketching future relations between the two companies.

The official said the two companies will set up a joint committee to consider issues of dispute in the gas deal between the two countries.

He said relations between Iran and Turkmenistan is based on the policy of good neighborliness.

In May 2016, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stressed the importance of cooperation between the two nations and called for boosting such ties.

Rouhani commended ties in the energy and power sectors, urging enhanced cooperation in other sectors, including tourism, environment of the Caspian Sea region and determination of its legal regime.

Although bilateral trade has not exceeded $5 billion over the past few years, officials of the two countries say a $60 billion target is achievable, given enormous potentials for cooperation.

Iran buys almost a third of Turkmenistan's gas for heating in winter and other use in the  northern provinces which are far from southern hydrocarbon fields.

There is also a railway link between the two neighbors, stretching over 926 kilometers up to Kazakhstan. It is emerging as a vital route linking Central Asia to the Persian Gulf and beyond.

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