The Islamic Republic of Iran has resumed oil swaps with Caspian Sea countries and will deliver the first cargo to buyers in the Persian Gulf in the next 20 days, the National Iranian Oil Company's official has said.
"The swap deals are being resumed after a hiatus of nearly five months," NIOC's Director of the International Affairs Department Mohsen Qamsari said.
Iran's Oil Ministry officials had argued that the oil swaps were not in the national interests.
Deputy Oil Minister Ahmad Qalehbani said in March that while Iran had not suspended oil swaps, it would do just that unless it was paid USD 5 to USD 6 for each barrel of crude swapped.
Under the oil swap arrangements, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan each provide Iran with some crude oil that is refined in refineries in northern Iran. Iran then sells an equal amount of its own crude in the Persian Gulf on the accounts of those countries.
One of the benefits for Iran is the fact that it does not have to build more pipelines to bring crude from the southern oilfields to northern Iran.
Last summer, an average of 90,000 barrels per day was swapped through Iran. The capacity will rise to 300,000 barrels per day within five years, according to Oil Ministry officials.
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