Javad Oji, Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister and Managing Director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), on 19 December signed an agreement with Turkmenistan’s state-controlled Turkmengaz for the expansion of Turkmen gas exports to Iran. Under the agreement, Turkmenistan will increase its exports to 40mn cmd, from 27-30mn cmd in 2011. According to Ashgabat-based traders Turkmenistan increased its exports to Iran by 10-15% in 2012.

Iran uses Turkmen imports to meet demand in its northern provinces and exports an almost equal volume of its own gas to Turkey – at least until 2011, when the pressure of international sanctions forced Tehran to increase the domestic utilization of Turkmen gas and export only 8.4 bcm to Turkey. (CONTINUED - 236 WORDS)