Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Turkmenistan Rejects Reports on Stop of Oil Swap with Iran

Turkmenistan's Foreign Ministry strongly rejected alleged media reports that the country has or will stop swap of oil with Iran.

A senior Turkmen Foreign Ministry spokesman announced in a news conference in Ashgabat on Monday that the alleged report about Turkmenistan's decision to halt oil swap with Iran "is not true".

Last Thursday, Reuters had quoted an unknown source as claiming that Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan may redirect oil exports to Russia's Black Sea port of Novorossiisk rather than shipping it to Iran due to the new round of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran.

Reuters also alleged that the Kazakh and Turkmen barrels would be directed through the Baku-Makhachkala-Novorossiisk pipeline originating in the Azeri capital on the shore of the Caspian Sea.

Iran, which faces new UN Security Council sanctions, has swap arrangements with Central Asian producers under which it imports crude into Caspian ports and supplies equivalent barrels to buyers and tanker ships in the Persian Gulf.

Kazakhstan has been pumping oil to Iran at a rate of 1.2 million tons per year. Turkmenistan exports 2 million tons of oil each year, but it is unclear how much goes to Iran.

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