Iran and Russia are in talks over technical matters of a potential agreement that will allow the delivery of Russian oil and natural gas supplies via Iran to other countries under a swap scheme, Mehr news agency reported on Monday.
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.
He had earlier indicated that a first 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 via a swap arrangement.
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 its exports to Iraq and Turkey. Iran and Russia are expected to start to implement a first phase of their gas swap agreement through Turkmenistan's pipelines by March this year, according to the report.
Iran is currently implementing a gas swap agreement with Turkmenistan under which the imported Turkmen gas is consumed in northeastern Iran, while delivering the same amount of gas to Azerbaijan in its northwest.