DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan have signed a gas exchange deal worth 2 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year, Iranian news agency IRNA reported on Sunday.

Under the swap deal, Iran will receive gas from Turkmenistan and deliver an equivalent amount to Azerbaijan at the Astara border, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji said on state television .

“Turkmenistan will sell 5 to 6 million cubic meters of gas per day to Azerbaijan within the framework of the trilateral agreement signed (…) in Turkmenistan”, declared IRNA.

Owji also said Iran was set to resolve a persistent gas debt dispute with Central Asian Turkmenistan, which said in late 2017 it owed $ 1.8 billion in payments for the gas delivered. in Tehran.

“We will soon pay the first installment to settle the gas debt that we owe to the Turkmen side, after talks that took place earlier,” said Owji, without giving the amount of the debt.

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Iran has large deposits of natural gas in the south, but has been importing gas from Turkmenistan since 1997 for distribution in its northern provinces, especially during the winter.

(Report by Dubai Newsroom, edited by Louise Heavens and Alexander Smith)

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