Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 23
By Mehdi Sepahvand, Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:
Tehran and Baku are still in discussions over cooperation between Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR and Iranian Oil Ministry, said an Iranian oil minister.
"We are still working on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation between SOCAR and Iran's Oil Ministry," Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia told Trend agency's office in Tehran.
Speaking with Trend previously, Jafar Pourfarjoudi, an Iranian Oil Ministry spokesman, said that a MoU was prepared and expressed hope that it will be signed.
Meanwhile, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev arrived in Tehran this morning at the official invitation of his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani to discuss bilateral ties.
Several agreements on a range of political and economic issues are expected to be signed between the presidents.
An informed source has told Trend that the MoU on cooperation between SOCAR and Iran's Oil Ministry is on the swap of oil products and gas, joint onshore cooperation, creating a joint venture, joint cooperation in the third countries as well as joint cooperation in the Araz-Alov-Sharg block (the block was allegedly located at the same area with the Iran's Alborz oil block).
The source said that the cooperation on the oil block is the sticking point in the MoU, as both Iran and Azerbaijan have differences over its ownership.
Iran is expected to put up a proposal for Azerbaijan regarding the cooperation on the oil block, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Feb.23.
Prior to President Aliyev's visit, Iranian oil ministry expressed its readiness for resuming oil and gas swap with Azerbaijan.