MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. Russian traders may facilitate sale of Iran’s crude oil on the global market, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Monday.
"The memorandum implies expansion of trade and economic cooperation. Those funds will be flowing to Russia for acquisition of necessary goods. Our traders will facilitate sale of Iran’s oil on the global market if possible," he said, adding that Russia will "definitely" not import crude oil from Iran.
Oil from Iran may not be supplied to China, Novak added. "We have our own contracts and this is an absolutely separate issue," he said.
As TASS reported earlier the Russian Energy Ministry said it’s too early to speak about launch of crude oil supplies from Iran to Russia when commenting a statement by Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh that Russia would already import first oil volumes from Iran this week. "The talks on cooperation aimed at expansion of trade turnover between the two countries, including the energy sector, are really under way but it is prematurely to speak about the start of oil deliveries from the Islamic Republic," the ministry said in the statement.
Russia and Iran have been negotiating possible purchase of Iranian oil by Russian companies since early 2014. The plan is to ship Iranian oil via Caspian Sea ports. Technical capacities of Iran’s Caspian terminal make it possible to export 500,000 barrels of oil a day.
The Iranian Minister of Petroleum and the Russian Energy Minister discussed the current situation on the global crude oil market within the International OPEC Seminar on June 3. In the middle of May Zanganeh said in case the anti-Tehran sanctions are lifted the country will export gas, with the focus on the Asian rather than the European market. "The priority of our gas industry is providing our own economy with big volumes of natural gas as well as export supplied to our neighbors - Pakistan, India and Iraq. Asia is much more attractive to us," he said.
Iran produces 600 mln cubic meters of gas daily. Its gas reserves of 33.9 trillion cubic meters are world’s second-biggest after Russia.