ANKARA Jan 8 Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip
Erdogan will ask Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to
restore the flow of natural gas to Turkey after it was cut off
this week, he was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
Iran, one of Ankara's main gas suppliers, halted its supply
to Turkey this week, state-run pipeline Botas said on Monday.
Iran later blamed the disruption on cold weather and a cut in
Turkmen gas supplies to the Islamic Republic.
"I will speak to (Ahmadinejad) and ask him to speedily
restore the flow," state agency Anatolian quoted him as telling
reporters in Ankara.
Despite criticism from the United States, Ankara is trying
to deepen energy ties with Iran and plans to invest billions in
Iranian energy projects.
A senior energy minister official told Reuters on Monday
that the disruption in supplies would last a "long time" and
Russia, Turkey's other main energy provider, was unable to
allocate additional supplies.
Last week the flow from Iran had already fallen to 4-5
million cubic metres a day from an agreed 30 million, after
Turkmenistan halted supplies to Iran.
A daily reduction of 30 million cubic metres from Iran and a
5 million cubic metre deficit in gas from Russia has created a
daily deficit of 35 mcm, the official said.
(Reporting by Orhan Coskun)