Iran to increase oil swap in next months
Azerbaijan , Baku, Sept. 19/Trend A. Qurbanova/
Iran is to increase the volume of oil swap with new solutions and plans to export its first oil swap cargo by end of September, SHANA reported, quoting Director of International Affairs at National Iranian Oil Company Mohsen Ghamsari as saying.
"Iran currently imported 500,000 barrels of crude oil from the Neka terminal and the figure will increase to one million barrels for export in the country's southern terminals," he said.
He noted the oil swap operation would create a good opportunity for the country and Iran's annual revenues from oil swaps will grow remarkably.
According to Iran's interests and by the implementation of new solutions, an oil swap with northern neighbors will increase in next months, he said.
Iran 's Oil Minister Rostam Ghasemi said Sunday the oil swap will bring a good profit for the country and that the private sector can have more opportunities in this sector as well.
Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Company Ahmad Ghalebani said earlier that Iran received 300,000 barrels of oil from the Caspian littoral states in mid-July and will transfer it to Persian Gulf terminals in 90 days.
The Neka oil terminal can supply 500,000 oil barrels to Tehran and Tabriz refineries.
After 13 years of oil swap with Caspian littoral countries to the Persian Gulf via Iran, four major foreign companies - Germany's Select Energy Trading, Dragon Oil Emirate, Swiss Vitol and Ireland's Caspian Oil Development - refused to update the oil swap agreement in April 2010 and Iran's crude oil swap rate dropped to zero.
From 1997 to 2010 Iran profited $146 million from oil swap operations ($1 per barrel). Earlier, the Iranian former oil minister urged the suspension of the oil swap due to its economical unprofitability and in an effort to protect national interests.
The Caspian Sea holds 17-33 billion barrels of oil, and is estimated to produce as much as 8,000 billion cubic meters of gas.