Iran expects natural gas exports to Turkey to resume next month

Iran expects flows of natural gas to Turkey through a damaged pipeline to resume in July, S&P Global Platts reported on Monday.

"We predict that the repair of the Iran-Turkey gas pipeline will end in the month of Tir (June 21-July 21) and gas flow will resume," said Mehdi Jamshidi-Dana, former director for dispatching at the state-owned National Iranian Gas Company and now interim caretaker of its Gas Transfer Company.

Iranian exports of the gas were suspended on March 31 after an explosion on the Turkish side of the pipeline. Iran has since called on the Turkish government to complete repairs, which it says normally take around six weeks at most.

Iran has rejected a claim by Turkey that the suspension of supplies through the pipeline represented a force majeure event, Jamshidi-Dana said. Such a claim, if agreed upon, would mean Ankara would not need to pay for the unsupplied gas under a take-or-pay purchasing agreement.

Neither the Turkish Energy Ministry nor pipeline operator Botaş responded to requests for comment June 8, S&P Global Platts said.

Iran would apply to international arbitration to resolve any disagreement over payment for the natural gas, though good relations between Turkey and Iran meant that step would most likely not be necessary, Jamshidi-Dana said.