Iran swaps 210,000 tons of oil products in Caspian Sea

Tehran, Iran, May 14

By Milad Fashtami - Trend:

Iran swapped 210,000 tons of oil products in the Caspian Sea in the 12 month period, which ended on March 20.

Deputy oil minister, Abbas Kazemi, said that liquid gas swap faced 500 percent increase in the mentioned period, while mazut swap increased by 170 percent, Iran's Mehr News Agency reported on May 14.

"Mazut and liquid gas swap between Iraq and Caspian Sea states reduces Iran's costs for transferring and storing oil products," he explained.

Deputy oil minister, Ali Majedi, said on May 7 that Iran is ready to start oil swap with neighboring countries.

He went on to note that Iran was negotiating with Kazakhstan. Deputy oil minister added that Turkmenistan has also declared its readiness to continue oil swap with Iran.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on March 1 that he is not aware of any new swap deal with neighboring countries, but noted that he has ordered the ministry officials' to continue oil swaps under certain conditions.

Deputy Oil Minister Mansour Mo'azzami had previously told ISNA that Iran has lost its old swap markets.

"Iran's previous administration did not fulfill its obligations, so the costumers cancelled the oil swap contracts and turned to other countries in order to meet their demands," he explained.

According to ISNA, Iran's oil swaps have been halted for over three years, because then oil minister believed it would turn Iran into an oil-importing country.

It is while under the US-led sanctions against Iran's oil industry, oil swaps could play a vital role for Iran's economy.

Hassan Khosrojerdi, head of Iran Oil Products Exporters Union, said on April 18 that Iranian government is not in favor of oil swap at present because it is not economically justified for the country, Iran's Fars News Agency reported.

"Since oil prices in the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf regions are different, oil swap is not profitable for all companies," he said.

"Oil swap can only be economically justified if the two sides swap products, based on the value of cargoes," he explained. "We have suggested this idea to the government, but the administration has yet to answer."

Kazemi told SHANA News Agency on Jan. 3 that Iran plans to increase oil product swaps with its neighbors to prevent fuel smuggling. He went on to say that Iran is interested in increasing a swap with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Oil and oil product swap deals with neighboring countries were repeatedly suspended during the administration of ex-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-2013).

Early in June, Mehr News Agency quoted former Director of the National Iranian Oil Company Ahmad Qalebani as saying Iran currently has the capacity to swap 500,000 barrels of oil each day.

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