Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Javad Oji said Wednesday that Turkey has asked Iran to increase its natural gas exports to its northwestern neighbor, the state IRIB TV website reported.
Oji said that Iran's current gas exports to Turkey stands at 24 million cubic meters per day on average and expressed Tehran's readiness to provide Ankara with more natural gas, said the report.
The two countries have held negotiations in the past over an increase in the gas exports to Turkey, he said, adding that Iran has a capacity to export an average of 36-40 million cubic meters of natural gas per day to Turkey.
According to the report, Turkey currently has natural gas purchase deals with countries such as Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan, as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG) deals with Nigeria and Algeria.
In 2009, Iran and Turkey signed an agreement to transfer up to 35 billion cubic meters of Iran's natural gas to Europe via Turkey.
Earlier this year, Iran's First Vice-President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi said exporting Iran's natural gas to Europe through Turkey would be beneficial for both Tehran and Ankara.
In a meeting with Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz in Tehran, Rahimi stressed the need for implementation of all agreements reached between Tehran and Ankara on energy cooperation.
Yildiz said that his country was ready to increase its cooperation with Iran in the energy field and pointed out that Ankara was determined to help Tehran transit its natural gas to Europe.
According to Iranian media, the gas pipeline to transfer Iran's natural gas to Europe is scheduled to become operational in 2014.
According to Iran's Petroleum Ministry, Iran's proved natural gas reserves are about 29,610 cubic kilometers or about 15.8 percent of world's total reserves. It has the world's second largest reserves after Russia.