Mohsen Qamsari, director for international affairs at National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said on Sunday that Iran has the necessary technical and infrastructural facilities for further oil swap.
“Given the potentials of Iranian ports along the Caspian Sea, I announce NIOC’s readiness to continue crude oil swap operations,” he added.
Qamsari noted that Iran can handle the swap of 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil with the Caspian Sea and Central Asian states.
Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO), a subsidiary of NIOC, is administering Iran oil swap operations.
Iran started its oil swap with the Caspian Sea and Central Asian states in 1997.
Besides revenues and regional diplomacy, the oil swap project saves Iran the costs of carrying 500,000 bpd of oil from south to north of the country to feed Tehran, Arak and Tabriz oil refineries.
Analysts say Iran represents the best route for energy transfer in the region as this route is shorter and less costly than Russia, Turkey and China routes.
Iran plans to develop the coastal infrastructure at its northern port city of Neka, situated some 200 kilometers (124 miles) north of Tehran, and raise its oil swap capacity.
It has started the development of the offshore pool at Neka oil terminal to meet the needs of merchant shipping fleets and also raise the oil reception capacity of the site.
Iran imports oil from Central Asian countries to be refined at Tehran and Tabriz oil refineries and then delivers an equivalent amount of oil to potential buyers in the Persian Gulf.