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6 February 2012 - 22:28

Turkey’s Energy Minister Taner Yildiz says Ankara may take Iran to an arbitration court if Tehran rejects its request for reducing the price of natural gas exports to the country.

The minister told Turkish daily, Hurriyet, that Iran's gas price is higher than other countries and if Tehran turns down Ankara’s request to reduce its gas price, the case will be taken to an arbitration court.

Yildiz said turkey had already put a similar request to Russia to cut its natural gas price, which had been accepted by Moscow.

Spokesman for the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Majid Boujarzadeh said the company has so far received no official request from Turkey’s gas company, Botas, for gas price reduction.

NIGC signed the first contract for exporting natural gas to Turkey via Botas about 15 years ago.

The contract bounds Iran to export an annual amount of 10 billion cubic meters (or a daily average of 30 million cubic meters) of natural gas to its northwestern neighbor.

Since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2011), Iran has delivered about eight billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey’s Botas, up by more than 700 million cubic meters compared to last year’s figures.

With available gas reserves estimated at over 33 trillion cubic meters, Iran ranks second in the world after Russia.

In addition to exporting gas to Turkey, Armenia, and Pakistan, Tehran is currently negotiating gas exports to Iraq.

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News ID 181467