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Iran, Russia hope to restart 150,000 b/d oil swaps: report

Tehran — Iran hopes to restart crude oil swaps of 150,000 b/d with Russian oilcompanies, oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said Saturday.

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"During the trip by the Russian energy minister to Tehran, we didn'tdiscuss it, but Lukoil is following this plan up," Zanganeh was quoted assaying by the state IRNA news agency Saturday.

Oil swaps between Iran and the Caspian states, which include Russia,stopped in 2010, when Iran's then oil minister Masoumi Mirkazemi described theterms of the swaps an "unfair deal" and strengthened international sanctionsforced the oil companies involved to pull out.

"Russia's Gasprom is also taking some measures to cooperate with Iran forgas swap," Zanganeh was quoted as saying Saturday.

As part of an oil-for-goods deal, Iran is ready to sign an agreement tosupply 100,000 b/d of crude to Russia, Zanganeh said earlier this month, inthe latest sign of the two nations' strengthening mutual ties in the face ofWestern sanctions.

Iran has also signed an agreement with Russia's Gazprom Neft fordevelopment studies on the Changouleh and Cheshmeh-Kosh onshore oil fields.

Along with a deal for development studies with Lukoil, Zarubejneft andTatneft, Russian oil companies have become the most active potential investorsin Iran's oil and gas sector.

--Aresu Eqbali,

--Edited by Wendy Wells,