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Iran, Russia discussing technical issues of oil, gas swap deal

Moscow and Tehran are discussing technical details of a potential deal on swap of oil and gas.

Iran and Russia are still in talks over a potential agreement that will allow the delivery of Russian oil and natural gas supplies via Iran to other countries under a swap arrangement.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow on Saturday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak described a potential swap agreement on oil and gas supplies between Iran and Russia as a “promising project”.

“Technical possibilities are being addressed, which is why this is regarded as a promising project,” said Novak.

He had earlier indicated that a fist stage of the agreement could allow Russia to offer up to 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 5 million metric tons of oil to Iran for delivery of the same amount to other countries in the region under a swap arrangement.

Under a similar arrangement, Iran currently imports natural gas from Turkmenistan for consumption in its northeast while delivering from its own supplies to Azerbaijan in the northwest.

Negotiations on a swap agreement between Iran and Russia gained a fresh momentum in early 2022 after Russia’s exports of gas to Europe came under Western sanctions because of the war in Ukraine.

Experts say an option under a swap arrangement with Russia would be for Iran to import Russian gas through Turkmenistan or Azerbaijan to boost supplies in its populous north and to increase exports to Iraq and Turkey.

Reports have suggested that Iran and Russia could start to implement a first phase of their gas swap agreement through Turkmenistan's pipelines by March this year.  

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