Iran Ready for Kirkuk Oil Swap

Iran Ready for  Kirkuk Oil SwapIran Ready for  Kirkuk Oil Swap

The Iranian Oil Pipeline and Telecommunications Company is ready to transfer crude oil from Iraq's Kirkuk to the Persian Gulf region, the company's managing director said.

"As per an agreement between Tehran and Baghdad, as many as 30,000 to 60,000 barrels of crude per day will be swapped from the neighboring Arab country," Abbas-Ali Jafarinasab was also quoted as saying by ILNA on Wednesday.

"The equal amount will be delivered by Naftiran Intertrade Company [NICO] in the Persian Gulf ports [in southern Iran] to [Iraq's] customers," he added. 

IOPTC is in charge of transporting crude oil and petroleum products across the country. It is a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company. 

NICO, which used to be the link between Iran and Caspian Sea littoral states, is tasked with resuming swap operations.

In late 2017, the two countries reached an agreement to transfer crude oil from Kirkuk's fields to Iran instead of sending it to the Turkish city of Ceyhan under a swap deal.

  Oil Swap Vitality 

Oil experts believe swap operations can be an important source of revenue, as the northern neighbors with abundant hydrocarbon resources need access to the sea in the south.

Pointing to the country's expansive equipment and pipelines, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh noted that the government of President Hassan Rouhani is pushing to resume swap operations with northern neighbors to facilitate access.

Iran resumed oil swap in August after Russian-flagged VF Tanker-20 discharged around 7 million liters of Turkmen-origin crude oil at the port of Neka in northern Iran.

Jafarinasab referred to the port of Neka as a privilege to enhance Iran's swap deals with the neighboring countries.

"Close to 2.5 million barrels of crude have been transferred from the port of Neka to Tehran's refinery since the country resumed oil swap on Aug. 3," he said.

The official highlighted that the pipeline, which connects the northern city of Sari in Mazandaran Province to Rey in southern Tehran, can transport a great deal of refinery byproducts, although only 10,000 barrels are currently transferred daily to selected destinations. According to port officials, Neka can store 250 million liters of oil and derivatives, but under 10% of this capacity are currently in use.

Increasing shipments depend on several factors, including terms of contracts, international regulations and the agreements reached by the National Iranian Oil Company.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints