Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) Abbas Kazzemi said Iran has increased fuel swaps with its Eastern neighbors.
“Iran has increased its fuel exchanges with Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Kazzemi said.
Iran began swapping oil and its products in the late 1990s, but the process was halted during the tenure of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2004-2009).
The decision to halt the swap activities caused the Caspian Sea littoral states to choose other routes to deliver their oil products to international markets and also exacerbated oil products smuggling.
On May 18, 2013, National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) announced plans to increase swap volume for oil products by 30 percent in the last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2013).
On October 30, 2013, Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Rokneddin Javadi said Iran plans to resume crude oil swap operations at a northern terminal in the near future.
Oil swap plan has many advantages for Iran and littoral states of the Caspian Sea which include low cost of oil transfer, security and spill over cooperation to other spheres with the neighboring countries.
By importing oil from the littoral states of Caspian Sea, Iran also could remove the cost for pumping oil from Southern toward Northern parts of the country in order to feed Tehran, Arak and Tabriz oil refineries.