Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said talks are underway with Iran on plans for oil and gas swap deals as the two countries eye closer cooperation to counter the foreign sanctions against their energy exports.
Novak told reporters after a Thursday meeting in Moscow with Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji that Iran and Russia are now focused on routes and mechanisms that could be used for swap of oil and gas products between the two countries.
“We are already working with them (Iranians) in this area, weighing individual routes and mechanisms. This pertains to oil and gas swaps,” Novak was quoted as saying by Russia’s official Tass news agency.
Sources in the Iranian Oil Ministry indicated last month that Iran could import some 6 million cubic meters (mcm) per day of natural gas from Russia through pipelines from Azerbaijan for the purpose of delivery of the same amount of gas to Russian customers in southern Iran, Press TV reported.
The sources indicated that Iran could also buy another 9 mcm per day of gas from Russia through Azerbaijan to boost its gas supply to domestic customers in northwestern regions of Iran. That could free up some capacity in Iranian pipelines in south and west to increase gas exports to Turkey and Iraq.
Tass quoted Novak as saying in a separate report that Russia and Iran were in the final stages of signing a document to expand their ties to the level of a strategic partnership.
It said Novak and Owji had discussed cooperation between Russia and Iran on issues related to the global oil and gas supply as well as joint projects on the Iranian territory.
Iran and Russia have sought to expand their economic and energy cooperation since earlier this year when Russia came under Western sanctions because of the war in Ukraine.