TEHRAN, April 17 (UPI) -- Ashgabat and Tehran entered negotiations on the pricing mechanism for the export of gas from Turkmenistan to Iran for the second half of 2009.
Energy ties between the countries soured in 2008 when Turkmenistan halted gas shipments to Iran, citing technical difficulties and complications from financing pipeline maintenance.
A delegation from Ashgabat arrived in Tehran in February, however, to move ahead with a deal to develop the Yolatan gas field in Turkmenistan for 350 million cubic feet of exports to Iran.
Iran is in negotiations that include Russian gas giant Gazprom to review pricing terms for gas imports from Turkmenistan. Iran pays $140 per thousand cubic meters, or 35,315 cubic feet, while Gazprom is willing to pay $240 for re-exports, the Tehran Times reports.
Iran is struggling to improve its regional energy position as it copes with punitive economic sanctions tied to its controversial nuclear program. Moscow and Ashgabat, for their part, are at odds over energy ties as Turkmenistan looks to Western markets for its lucrative energy reserves.