Iran, Turkmenistan Agree on Natural Gas Barters, Official Says

Iran and Turkmenistan reached an agreement for the Persian Gulf country to export goods to Turkmenistan in exchange for some of the natural gas it purchases from its northern neighbor, a trade official said.

Iran buys about $3 billion of natural gas from Turkmenistan a year, Abdol-Hamid Asadian, head of the Trade Promotion Organisation’s bureau for Europe and Americas, was quoted as saying by the state-run Iranian Students News Agency. The report didn’t provide details of the arrangement.

Tightening banking and energy sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program have complicated financial transactions with the Persian Gulf country. New U.S. sanctions that came into force last month aim to make buyers of Iranian oil pay in their local currencies, with the funds kept in escrow accounts and available for Iran only to buy locally sourced goods and services.

Iran imports about 18 million cubic meters of gas a day from Turkmenistan, and as much as 30 million cubic meters in winter months, state-run media reported in November. The nation, holder of the world’s second-largest gas deposits, imported 10.2 billion cubic meters from Turkmenistan in 2011 and exported 8.4 billion cubic meters to Turkey, according to the BP Plc Statistical Review of World Energy.

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