TEHRAN August 16 (Shana)–Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has ordered the resumption of talks for the country to resume crude oil swap operations with neighboring countries, an aide to the minister said.
“The petroleum minister has ordered the revival of swap operations and negotiations have started for the resumption of swap operations,” Mahmoud Astaneh said.
He added that Iran earned 880 million dollars from swap operations from 1999 to 2009.
Astaneh said Iran enjoys a unique chance to deliver oil from the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf, adding that Iran can handle 3 to 4 mb/d of oil from Kashgan oil field in Kazakhstan.
Iran started its oil swap with the Caspian Sea and Central Asian states in 1997.
Besides revenues and regional diplomacy, the oil swap project saves Iran the costs of carrying 500,000 b/d of oil from south to north of the country to feed Tehran, Arak and Tabriz oil refineries.
Analysts say Iran represents the best route for energy transfer in the region as this route is shorter and less costly than Russia, Turkey and China routes.
Iran plans to develop the coastal infrastructure at its northern port city of Neka, situated some 200 kilometers (124 miles) north of Tehran, and raise its oil swap capacity.
It has started the development of the offshore pool at Neka oil terminal to meet the needs of merchant shipping fleets and also raise the oil reception capacity of the site.
Iran imports oil from Central Asian countries to be refined at Tehran and Tabriz oil refineries and then delivers an equivalent amount of oil to potential buyers in the Persian Gulf.
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