Iran ready to help Turkey with natural gas

Oct. 8, 2012 at 7:14 AM
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TEHRAN, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- An Iranian official said his country was ready to make up for any natural gas shortages in Turkey following a pipeline explosion near the border.

Turkish officials last week blamed militants for an attack on the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum natural gas pipeline. BP Azerbaijan, a subsidiary operating in the Shah Deniz natural gas field offshore Azerbaijan, suspended deliveries to Turkey as a result.

Majid Boujarzadeh, a spokesman for the National Iranian Gas Co., said Iran was on standby should Turkey require additional supplies.

"Whenever the flow of gas exports into Turkey faces a problem, Iran will be ready to make up for the reduced imports," he was quoted by the semiofficial Mehr News Agency as saying.

The region's Trend news service reported that Ankara said it wouldn't take on more gas from other suppliers because there was no shortage. The news service added that Tehran, however, was eager to work with Ankara on delivering natural gas to European markets.

Europe is examining gas supplies from Azerbaijan piped through Turkey. Iran had said it could play a role in potential European transit networks, though Western governments have said Tehran was limited by economic sanction.

Iranian Oil Minister spokesman Alireza Nikzad-Rahbar was quoted by Mehr as saying any threat to ban gas deliveries to the eurozone was a "propaganda campaign."

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