Astana Mulling Oil Swap Renewal With Tehran

Astana Mulling Oil Swap Renewal With TehranAstana Mulling Oil Swap Renewal With Tehran

Kazakhstan is willing to resume oil swap operations with Iran after the lifting of sanctions against the Persian Gulf country, Kazakhstan’s Energy Minister Vladimir Shkolnik said in the capital Astana.

“Swap oil operations with Iran continue to be interesting for Kazakhstan after lifting the sanctions against Iran,” Shkolnik said at the press conference during the second day of the Eurasian Forum Kazenergy.

However, Ian Taylor, chairman of the Swiss-based Vitol Group, said the resumption of oil swap with Iran will depend on a number of conditions.

“It is obvious that this process (renewal of swap) is not a quick action. The entire oil industry must wait for all the sanctions against Iran to be fully removed … Secondly, sanctions against banking operations should be also removed for that renewal, so that we can transfer money to Iranian accounts or receive from their accounts,” Taylor told a press conference.

He said it is difficult to tell when the process of lifting the sanctions against Iran could be completed.

“We do not anticipate that this could happen by the end of the first quarter of next year," the Dutch-owned group head said.

Taylor recalled that Vitol had swap operations on oil with Iran before the sanctions. “But now everything will depend on economic feasibility and sanctions regime but, most importantly, on the time of lifting the sanctions from banking operations,” he added.

The removal of sanctions against Iran is expected to help the country resume oil swap with Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.