Iraq oil tanker

Iran resumes Caspian oil swaps


TEHRAN, August 14, 2017 – Iran’s Caspian port of Neka has received its first shipment of swapped oil since 2010, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) confirmed on Sunday.

Dragon Oil made the shipment from Turkmenistan on a Russian-flagged tanker. Its unloading at Neka was first identified in a Saturday report by Iran’s state-owned Press TV as marking the apparent resumption of swaps.

NIOC confirmed the delivery took place August 3 and marked the second such shipment from Dragon Oil in the past month.


The company had previously engaged in a crude swap scheme under which Turkmen oil was exchanged for crude processed at Iran’s Kharg Island. The deal was halted after authorities in Tehran expressed doubts over its economic benefits and sought to renegotiate and raise swap fees.

The swaps are seen as strategic for Iran’s northern neighbours – which include Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan – as they seek access to the sea in Iran’s south.

As of 2009, Iran was taking in 90,000 bopd in swapped oil from companies such as Dragon, Vitol and Caspian Oil Development. Officials had planned to raise capacity for the swaps to 300,000 bopd by 2015.

Since last year, Iranian officials including Minister of Petroleum Bijan Namdar Zangeneh have made numerous statements in support of resuming the swaps.

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