Deputy Minister: Iran Ready to Resume Oil Swap
Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Ahmad Qalehbani dismissed media reports that Tehran has decided to stop oil swap with other states, and said the country is prepared to continue oil swap provided that its interests are met, reported Fars News Agency.
"Mr. minister has never ordered suspension of oil swapping but has said that Iran's interests should be met in doing so," Qalehbani told FNA on Saturday.
"We are ready to do swaps but a swap which secures our economic interests and its costs and revenues will be logical," he added.
Qalehbani stressed that Iran would continue oil swap provided that $5 to $6 will be paid for swapping each barrel of crude oil and the country which delivers the oil to Iran receives the cargo in the Persian Gulf, rather than asking Iran to take the responsibility for selling the cargo.
Iran swaps oil with many world countries. Iran, which faces new UN Security Council sanctions, has swap arrangements with Central Asian producers under which it imports crude into Caspian ports and supplies equivalent barrels to buyers and tanker ships in the Persian Gulf.
Iran and Armenia announced in December that they will double swap of power supplies after the new power transfer line starts operation, Armenian Energy and Natural Resources Minister Armen Movsisian said.
Movsisian said that his country's third power transfer line to Iran with a nominal capacity of 400kw per hour will be ready in 2013, adding that the construction phase will start in the second half of 2011.
Also, Turkmenistan's Foreign Ministry in September strongly rejected alleged media reports that the country has or will stop swap of oil with Iran.
Kazakhstan has been pumping oil to Iran at a rate of 1.2 million tons per year. Turkmenistan exports 2 million tons of oil each year, but it is unclear how much goes to Iran.