Russia interested in importing Iranian crude oil
Azerbaijan, Baku, Jun.18/ Trend F.Karimov/
Russia has recently expressed interest in importing crude oil from Iran, the Mehr News Agency reported. Tehran and Moscow have been holding talks in this regard.
Russian officials have proposed launching a pipeline to transfer oil from Iran's southern oilfields to the Caspian Sea and then carried by tankers to Russian oil terminals.
To this end, the National Iranian Oil Company has started dredging operations around the Neka oil terminal in order to provide giant tankers with the possibility to berth there.
With the goal of stabilising its oil markets, Russia recently bought crude oil from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan and mixes them with its Urals crude and exports it to Europe.
Urals, which typically costs less than other grades due to a higher sulphur content that requires more refining, has averaged $1.44 a barrel less than Brent in the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for production to be maintained at more than 10 million barrels. The country produced 10.48 million barrels of crude and condensate a day in May, according to preliminary data from the Energy Ministry's CDU-TEK sent June 2. The post-Soviet record was set in November at 10.49 million barrels a day.