Source: Press TV
Russia and Iran plan oil and gas swap as part of their new push to step up trade which is relatively minuscule compared with their strong political ties. Representatives of a major Russian energy company will arrive in Tehran soon for discussions on swap of crude oil, oil products and gas, Iran's Deputy Petroleum Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia said on Monday.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak (R) and Iran's Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh during a meeting in Tehran in September 2014 (file photo by ISNA)
Under the arrangement, Iran would take delivery of Russian oil, gas and their derivatives in the Caspian Sea for use in northern provinces and deliver the same amount of the products to Russia's customers in the Persian Gulf.
The plan follows a recent visit to Tehran by Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak at the head of a large trade delegation to expand relations.
Zamaninia said Novak held "very constructive and fruitful negotiations" with Iran's Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh. Russian companies, he said, are greatly interested in Iran's projects to boost recovery from oil and gas fields.
However, no specific project has been finalized yet as Russian firms are waiting for Iran to introduce its new oil contract models in less than a month.
After visiting Tehran, Novak said Russia's state-owned energy giant Zarubezhneft would take up several projects worth a total of $6 billion in Iran's oil industry.
He said Tehran and Moscow had devised a package of projects that are collectively worth $35 billion to $40 billion.
Meanwhile, Russia's Lukoil has reached a preliminary agreement with the National Iranian Oil Company on oil purchases from Iran, NIOC director for international affairs Mohsen Qamsari said.
Russia has acted quickly to cement ties with Iran after the international nuclear accord with Tehran in July. The two countries seek to increase bilateral trade to $10 billion a year from $2 billion at present.
The collapse of the Soviet Union has left Iran to position itself as a major transit route for the Caspian energy. However, the idea of building pipelines across Iran has faced US opposition.
Iran says it has received new requests from its northern neighbors to revive Caspian oil swaps which were suspended by former president Mamhoud Ahmadinejad's officials.
Chief Executive of the Iranian Oil Terminals Company Pirouz Mousavi has said the scheme would resume soon.
Neka in northern Iran has an import capacity for crude swaps with the Caspian states of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia.
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