Iran Turns to Azeri Gas Amid Shortfall

TEHRAN -- Iran has begun importing 1 million cubic meters of gas per day from Azerbaijan, an Iranian news agency said Monday, in an apparent move to help compensate for shortages caused by a cut in Turkmen deliveries.

The supplies will be in addition to a daily 1.1 million cubic meters of Azeri gas deliveries for transit through Iran to another part of Azerbaijan, said Ebadollah Ghanbari, a spokesman for the National Iranian Gas Company.

He said the new gas imports from Azerbaijan started 20 days ago and were being used to meet a shortage, while the country would pay the same price as that paid to Turkmenistan.

But Ghanbari said the supplies from Azerbaijan were not intended to replace deliveries from Turkmenistan, which stopped its daily exports of 23 million cubic meters to Iran in December at the height of the cold season, citing technical problems.