Turkey expects to start receiving natural gas through a new pipeline from Iran...
Turkey expects to start receiving natural gas through a new pipeline from Iran by mid-December, officials said Monday.
A gas measuring facility at the Bazargan border point, 620 miles northwest of Tehran, should be complete by then, allowing gas to begin flowing, said Gulsun Korkmaz, a spokeswoman for Turkey's state-run pipeline firm BOTAS.
The 1,598-mile pipeline had been due to open on July 30, but Botas asked for a delay to carry out tests on the measuring facility.
Turkey's energy minister, Zeki Cakan, has said pumping will not begin until a Botas technical team that is monitoring the tests in Iran certifies the station is operational.
Under a 25-year deal signed in 1996, Turkey plans to buy 106 billion cubic feet of gas a year from Iran via the new pipeline until 2007, after which the amount will increase to 353 billion cubic feet a year.
The United States, a close ally of Turkey, has strongly opposed the gas deal with Iran.
But Turkey expects natural gas demand to climb sharply in the coming decades, and sees the Iran pipeline as a way of avoiding excessive dependence on Russia, which currently supplies around 60 percent of Turkey's natural gas. A new pipeline due to bring Russian gas under the Black Sea to Turkey will increase Turkish dependence on Russia.