UPDATE 1-Iran resumes gas exports to Turkey

Sun Jan 27, 2008 3:40pm GMT

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ANKARA Jan 27 (Reuters) - Iran resumed exports of natural gas to Turkey on Sunday after an interval of around three weeks, a senior official at Botas, Turkey's state pipeline company, told Reuters.

"About one hour ago (1410 GMT), Iran began pumping gas again to Turkey. So far we have received about 5 million cubic metres of gas. We are waiting for Iran to raise the volume," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In Tehran, Ebadollah Ghambari, spokesman for Iran's national gas company, told Reuters: "A few hours ago, Iran started gas exports at a volume of 3 million cubic metres to Turkey."

Iran halted its gas deliveries to Turkey earlier this month due to increased domestic demand sparked by very cold weather.

Turkey normally takes about 30 million cubic metres of Iranian gas daily, but is well accustomed to disruptions in Iranian supplies during the winter months.

Iran accounts for about 20 percent of Turkey's natural gas needs. Turkish consumers and industry have not suffered shortages in the last few weeks because Russia has increased supplies to cover the shortfall.

Russia accounts for up to 70 percent of Turkey's gas needs. (Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Gareth Jones; Editing by Quentin Bryar)

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