Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said on December 14th that rates for swapping Turkmen and Kazak oil would be decreased from January 1st, 2001.
Kazempour, also Iran’s OPEC governor, indicated that the new rates would be $16 per tone for oil from Turkmenistan and $13 per tone for oil from Kazakstan, while rates for swapping both cruds are currently $21 per tone.
Kazempour said that: “With the new swap prices, oil transactions in the region will become more economic.
Regional countries planning to find alternative transport routes can now look upon Iran as the cheapest, safest and most effective option.”
The deputy minister indicated that Iran would give additional discounts to larger volumes, with a 5 percent discount on swaps larger than 10,000 b/d and a 10 percent discount on those greater than 20,000 b/d.
Crude swaps with Turkmenistan and Kazakstan currently total about 17,000 b/d, but after the first phase is completed in January 2001 of a pipeline from the Caspian Sea port of Neka to Tehran, Iran’s capacity for swapping Central Asian crude will increase to 50,000 b/d.
Iran receives oil from Turkmenistan and Kazakstan at Neka to be used for domestic consumption in the northern region, while providing an equivalent amount of Iranian crude to their customers from export terminals in the south of the country.
Iranian President Mohammed Khatami is expected to visit Ashgabat soon to discuss gas contracts and increasing Turkmen exports of both oil and gas.