Iran is developing an oil terminal in a northern Caspian port to allow docking by large tankers, an official said on Monday.
With the development of the terminal, 14,000-ton oil tankers will be able to anchor in the Iranian port of Neka, local media quoted Hamid-Reza Shahdoust at the National Iranian Oil Company as saying.
The plan will make it possible for very large foreign oil tankers to call on the port and transfer Iran’s oil to Russian terminals, he said.
The two countries have agreed on an arrangement under which Russia will sell 500,000 barrels of Iranian oil per day. Iran will use the money to buy goods such as steel, wheat and machinery from Russia and other Eurasian nations, namely Kazakhstan and Belarus.
Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh has said Iran wanted to forge long-term economic relations with the Russians. “Our plan is to seriously expand economic and technical ties with Russia,” he said earlier this month.
“There is political will at the highest level in Iran to expand economic relations with Russia. I also think it is good to develop Iran’s economic ties with Russia, China, India and emerging economic states,” he said.
Russian officials have sent mixed signals about the contract, with Energy Minister Alexander Novak saying earlier this month that Moscow would import no oil from Iran in practice.
“Within our memorandum on expanding trade and economic cooperation, Iran will sell us oil, and that money will go on buying goods from Russia. Our traders if possible will help to find a buyer,” Interfax news agency quoted Novak as saying.
“We ourselves are a producing country. And we aren’t going to buy (import) their oil,” he told reporters.