Armenian Ambassador to Tehran, Artashes Tumanyan has offered to buy the Turkmen natural gas through swap supplies with the participation of Iran. RIA Novosti reported about this.
“The tariff for the Russian gas is beneficial to us. It was always below internationally recognized prices. In the case of Iranian gas under cash payment procedures, we have never been offered better conditions,” said Mr. Tumanyan at a meeting of the Commission on regional issues and Eurasian integration.
At the same time, according to him, “there is an idea” with gas swaps from Turkmenistan. “Why do I say the idea? Because there are no documents, but for us it is of fundamental importance. Turkmen gas can pass through our region. Not physically, there is no need, but through swap-schemes,” said the Ambassador.
According to him, Turkmenistan can supply gas, for example, to the Iranian province of Mazenderan, and Armenia can receive Iranian fuel on the border. “Such an exchange scheme will allow us to import gas without causing “jaundice” in the gas market,” said Mr. Tumanyan.
Recently, interest in Turkmen natural gas has been growing, which is quite explainable. In particular, in this message RIA Novosti said that at the end of December 2018, “Gazprom” reported about price escalation of gas on the border of Georgia and Armenia in 2019 to 165 dollars per thousand cubic meters from 150 dollars in 2018. The contract for the gas supply up to 2.5 billion cubic meters per year is valid until the end of 2019.
Seeing the facts of the states, manifesting this interest, aren’t on the border of Turkmenistan and can’t directly buy fuel, are offered swap-schemes to purchase gas.
Two weeks ago, ORIENT, citing Bulgarian mass media, reported that Bulgaria is negotiating about gas purchases from Turkmenistan through swap deals involving Russia. Well, such a scheme is hardly allowable to Russia, because making an exception for Bulgaria, a lot of countries from Eastern Europe will follow this example.
But Armenia probably has more chances to buy the Turkmen gas through Iran. After all, at the past 1st Caspian Economic Forum, the representative of Iran proposed to supply the Turkmen natural gas to other countries through swap schemes using the Iranian gas transportation network. Probably, Yerevan has a good opportunity to verify it.
Moreover, Armenia has an experience of buying the Turkmen gas through swap. In the first years after the USSR collapse, not only Armenia, but also Georgia and Azerbaijan bought the Turkmen natural gas through swap schemes. However, it was used the gas transportation system of Russia. But what is the difference between Iranian and Russian GTS? It’s all a matter of terminology.
The main thing is that gas trade through swap supplies developed, and it has developed well, if today, after 20 years or more, some countries, such as Armenia, want to return to it, and others, like Bulgaria, want to try this business.