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1 Month Left to Swap

The hotel is not far from the installations. The bus carrying journalists arrives at the destination very fast. We got off the vehicle. On the Caspian coasts where land and sea meet stand the structures of a green terminal. Small and large fish are swimming beneath our feet and just very close to stone rocks.

1 Month Left to Swap
(Saturday, November 12, 2016) 15:39
North Oil Terminal is where oil tankers of all Caspian Sea littoral states have to cross in order to reach the Persian Gulf waters.

This terminal is located 20 kilometers north of the city of Neka and close to a power plant on a piece of land measuring 20,000 ha in area. Before Iran’s oil swap project was halted, crude oil from the Caspian Sea littoral states – Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan – was carried in oil tankers to this terminal before being offloaded by hydraulic arms and be stored in tankers.

Iran’s oil swap stopped in 2012, but Iran’s petroleum minister Bijan Zangeneh recently said he is seriously in talks for the resumption of these operations.

1 Month Left to Swap

Iran is seeking to resume swap operations in North Terminal. According to Pirouz Mousavi, CEO of Iran Oil Terminals Company (IOTC), these operations will start in one month. 

“Throughout its talks with foreign companies, the Ministry of Petroleum is determined to remove impediments and remedy shortcomings that existed in the swap operations in the past. What is expected to be done soon is crude oil swap,” he told a press conference. 

Noting that the oil imported from the Caspian states is used for feeding refineries in Tehran and Tabriz, he added: “During the period of halt to swap operations we tried our best to upgrade our equipment. In a month or so, crude oil swap will resume.”

Mousavi said delegates from Kazakhstan and Russia are expected to travel to Behshahr in northern Iran to visit Neka oil terminal.

“We will start swap operations with the volume of 50,000 to 100,000 b/d until we reach the pre-determined capacity,” he said.

Hamid-Reza Shahdoust, director of Neka oil terminal, said the terminal started work in 2003. 

“It has currently three operating jetties. We have nine tanks of the same size, six of which are used for storage and three others for blending,” he said.

Shahdoust said the difference between Neka and Kharg is that in the latter, oil is delivered while in the former oil is received before being passed on to the Iranian Oil Pipelines and Telecommunication Company (IOPTC).

A cutting edge technology used in this terminal pertains to its offloading arms which are connected to oil tankers. This technology is undoubtedly one of the best in the world. This system which is very equipped and technically modern is best known as FMC offloading arm.

At North Terminal, arrangements have also been made for older oil tankers. There are also basins for offloading oil. These basins could not be connected to the arms and the offloading process is done through hoses.

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