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Iran’s oil minister in Turkmenistan to discuss energy ties

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran’s Oil Minister Javad Owji

Iran’s Oil Minister Javad Owji has traveled to Turkmenistan to discuss growing ties between the two energy-rich countries.

Iran’s Oil Ministry’s news service Shana said in a Thursday report that Owji had met Turkmenistan’s President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, foreign minister Raşit Meredow and the country's top petroleum official Shahin Abdul Rahmanov during his one-day trip to Ashgabat.

The report said Owji had discussed Iran’s gas arrears to Turkmenistan, which amount to 470 million euros, as well as plans to expand swap agreements between the countries for transfer of natural gas, oil and oil products.

Iran is currently receiving around 5-6 million cubic meters per day of natural gas from Turkmenistan for consumption in its northeastern regions while delivering the same amount from its own natural gas supply to Azerbaijan in Iran’s northwest.

Iran, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan have declared they are ready to double the amount of gas swapped under an agreement signed in November last year.

Media reports and government statements have indicated that gas pipelines from Turkmenistan to Iran could be used for potential swap agreements between Iran and Russia.

That comes as Russia is searching for new markets for its surplus gas output to offset the impacts of Western sanctions on its energy sector.

Turkmenistan’s official TDH news agency said president Berdimuhamedov had also received Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk on Thursday to discuss growing cooperation between the two countries in various areas, especially on oil and gas projects.

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