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NICO, Total to sign oil swap contract

Iran’s Naftiran Intertrade Company Sàrl (NICO) and France’s Total S.A. Company have agreed on sealing an oil swap deal.

NICO, Total to sign oil swap contract
(Monday, September 12, 2016) 10:19

Naftiran Intertrade Company Sàrl (NICO), a Swiss-based subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), and Total oil company of France have agreed on inking a deal to swap crude oil from Caspian Sea littoral states.

Following the earlier contract between Iran and Franc over exports of 160 to 200 thousand barrels of crude per day, an oil swap deal is also expected to be inked in near future.

In addition to Total, two other oil giants, Vitol of Switzerland and England’s BP (British Petroleum), have also held successful oil swap negotiations with Iran’s NIOC.

So far in the post-JCPOA era, Total has signed a contract to purchase 160 thousand barrels of Iranian crude per day, a confidentiality agreement for development of South Azadegan oilfield as well as a Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) to construct a petrochemical complex in southern Iran.

Hassan Bagherian, Director of the Tehran Department of the Iranian Oil Pipelines and Telecommunications Company, has recently told a press conference that the refinery is prepared for swapping oil with northern neighbors of Iran by building the adjoining facilities.

“the facility can swap over half a million barrels of oil to these countries as well as two other Iranian refineries on a daily basis,” underlined the official adding “Tehran Refinery is ready to receive oil feeds from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan as Iran is planning oil swap with the countries.”

Hamidreza Shahdoust, a local Iranian Oil Terminals Company (IOTC) official in the city of northern city of Neka, had said earlier that Neka Oil Terminal enjoys a total storage capacity of 120 thousand barrels per day in its 12 tanks; “moreover, the project to increase oil swap capacity to 2.5 million barrels per day has kicked off,” he had noted.

Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, while pointing to Iran’s readiness for oil swap with Russia, had earlier noted “the Russian side has also voiced willingness for swapping a portion of its oil production through Iran’s route and relevant negotiations are underway.”

“The capacity exists for a maximum swap of 150 thousand oil barrels per day,” underlined Zanganeh stressing “the process would boost Iran’s market share since the replacement is delivered to customers in the Persian Gulf.”

A key player in Iran's energy sector, NICO is a general contractor for the oil and gas industry which also handles trading and swaps operations on behalf of NIOC.

Iran eyes swap arrangements with Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan, under which it ships crude from the Central Asian producers to its Caspian ports. In exchange Iran delivers the equivalent barrels of crude on behalf of the three Central Asian producers to their customers in the Persian Gulf.

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