Iran will launch a new pipeline to transfer its natural gas to the northern city of Sari, Mazandaran province, as part of efforts to make up for the country’s gas shortfalls there, a source in the country’s oil ministry said.
The 170-km Damghan-Sari pipeline, with 40 million cubic meters per day (mcm/d) of transit capacity, will be launched soon, the source told Azerbaijan’s Trend news agency.
The pipeline stretches from the city of Damghan in Semnan province to Sari.
He added that the pipeline would cut Iran’s dependence on imports of natural gas from its northern neighbor Turkmenistan.
The project is worth about $250 million.
Turkmenistan cut off gas supplies to Iran on January 1, saying Iran should clear its outstanding debts.
Later, Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Central Asian country is ready to continue gas talks with Iran, but also has the right to take the dispute to arbitration.
The statement also claimed that Iran’s debt stemmed from the National Iranian Gas Company’s failure to abide by the “take or pay” provision of the gas supply contract.
Iran has imported natural gas from Turkmenistan since 1997 for distribution in the north of the country, furthest from the gas resources in the south.
Turkmens occasionally raise their prices in the wintertime. In 2006, during days of freezing temperatures and blizzard in Iran, Turkmenistan cut off gas shipments and demanded a nine-fold price increase.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)