First Batch of Turkmenistan’s Crude Swapped

First Batch of Turkmenistan’s Crude Swapped
First Batch of Turkmenistan’s Crude Swapped

The first oil cargo shipped from Turkmenistan to the port of Neka in northern Iran for swap through the Persian Gulf was transferred to Tehran refinery via the 32-inch Sari-Ray pipeline, the manager of pipelines in Iranian Oil Pipeline and Telecommunications Company said.

"Nine oil tankers have unloaded their consignments in Neka oil terminal, of which 360,000 barrels were transferred to Tehran through the pipeline," Parviz Memarian was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency on Tuesday.

According to Memarian, vessels with 48,000-barrel capacity are discharging crude in the terminal storage reservoirs in Neka and as soon as the reservoir capacity reaches 360,000 barrels, the crude will be pumped to either Tehran or Tabriz refinery.

"We are prepared to swap 400,000-500,000 barrels of crude oil per day," he said, adding that Iran is ready to ramp up oil swap capacity after receiving the first batch of crude oil from Turkmenistan in seven years. Pointing to a pipeline that connects the northern city of Sari in Mazandaran Province to Ray in southern Tehran, Memarian noted that due to the long halt in oil swap operations from Neka, the line had remained idle for seven years.

Iran resumed oil swap earlier this month after a seven-year hiatus. Oil and gas company Dragon Oil, owned by Dubai-based Emirates National Oil Company, shipped an oil cargo from Turkmenistan to Neka Port in northern Iran on August 3 for swapping through the Persian Gulf, marking the first such operation by Iran since 2010.

Dragon used to ship the crude it produces from offshore development in Turkmenistan to Neka and receive crude produced by Iran at Kharg Island in the Persian Gulf. The Russian-flagged VF Tanker-20 discharged around 6,500 tons (around 7 million liters) of Turkmen-origin crude oil at Neka on August 3.

According to port officials, Neka can store 250 million liters of oil and derivatives, but lower than 10% of that capacity is currently in use. Oil swap can be an important source of revenue, as northern neighbors with abundant hydrocarbon resources need access to the sea in the south.

  Flow Reversal Operations

Memarian noted that in line with efforts to raise the export of oil products from southern terminals, the flow of oil derivative in some pipelines, which are used to transfer the products from south to central and northern regions, has been reversed.

He noted that the "flow reversal" operation on Shazand Refinery pipeline from Arak [Markazi Province] to the city of Abadan [Khuzestan Province] has been carried out successfully so that oil and its byproducts can be sent to central regions from Abadan and vice versa. Pointing to other operations, the official said, "The 10-inch Tehran-Abadan pipeline and the 16-inch Isfahan pipeline have also undergone reverse-flow modifications and oil derivatives have been directed toward southern oil terminals."

According to Memarian, the construction of new pipelines to transfer oil products to southern oil terminals tops the IOPTC agenda.

"Domestic pipeline manufacturing firms supply 80% of our much-needed pipes and equipment," he said.


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