Managing Director of National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hossein Montazer Torbati says the conditions governing Iran’s long-term gas contracts probably undergo essential changes after the coronavirus pandemic, Press TV reported.
The comments come after reports in recent days suggested that Turkey, a main customer of Iran’s natural gas, is unwilling to repair a pipeline damaged in an explosion in late March as it seeks lower prices in the light of a recent fall in international crude prices.
Gas export deals designate oil prices as a benchmark for determining gas prices although any price change would need at least six months to take effect.
Montazer told the semi-official ILNA news agency that Iran would introduce new pricing mechanisms in gas export deals in future, without elaborating on how they would work.
He said Iran would also start negotiating with Turkey about an extension to the current gas export deal beyond 2025.
The NIGC chief said Iran would always remain a reliable supplier of natural gas to Turkey despite changes that are taking place in the country’s energy market where the government is allowing more activity for the private-sector suppliers.
On Iran’s plans for gas exports to new regions and countries, Torbati said Tehran is studying plans to deliver gas to areas bordering Iran in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan in neighboring Iraq.
The official said authorities in the Iraqi Kurdistan have submitted several requests for the start of gas supply from Iran to the bordering regions.
He also said that the Iranian Oil Ministry’s department for international affairs is currently working on a contract for launching gas exports to Oman.
Iran exports gas to its neighbor Iraq as well.
In late April, NIGC Dispatching Director Mehdi Jamshidi-Dana said the country is exporting 32 million cubic meters (mcm) of natural gas to Iraq on a daily basis.
Iraq inked a deal in late 2017 to import gas from Iran to the eastern border province of Diyala, increasing purchases of the Iranian fuel, which started in June that year after several years of delay.
As per the deal, Iran committed itself to export gas to the Iraqi capital Baghdad and the southern Iraqi city of Basra.