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Iranian Gas Not Cheap, Insists Armenian Minister


Iran – A stand of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) at an exhibition on Kish Island.

Iran – A stand of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) at an exhibition on Kish Island.

Importing larger volumes of natural gas from Iranian gas would not be economical even after the latest surge in the Russian gas price for Armenia, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Armen Movsisian insisted on Thursday.

Movsisian stood by his earlier assurances that Iran would charge Armenia more than $300 per thousand cubic meters of its gas.

The officially declared price of Russian gas delivered to Armenia soared by 50 percent to $270 per thousand cubic meters in April. The resulting unpopular rises in domestic energy tariffs led to calls for the Armenian government to buy more Iranian gas through a pipeline that was completed in 2008.

Iran’s ambassador to Armenia, Mohammad Reisi, said last week that Iranian gas is no more expensive than the gas supplied by Russia’s Gazprom giant. He did not give any figures, though.

“I personally negotiated with Iran’s national gas company, and the prices that they proposed to us were much higher than the ones that are now set by the Russian side,” Movsisian told journalists. “I can’t say on the basis of what information Iran’s ambassador made such a statement.”

The minister said earlier that Armenia is able to import modest amounts of gas from Iran only because it pays for the fuel with electricity supplies.

According to government data, Armenia imported around 500 million cubic meters of Iranian gas last year. The total volume of Russian gas supplies stood at almost 2 billion cubic meters.
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