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Iran may trade oil on Russian market

MOSCOW, March 3 (UPI) -- Iran could sell some of its crude oil on the St. Petersburg commodity exchange as ties with Russia in the energy sector increase, officials said.

"The Russian side has proposed that our Iranian partners consider the possibility of selling a part of Iran's oil at the St. Petersburg commodity exchange," Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said.

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The minister said the move was part of a broader effort to increase bilateral economic relations with Iran as a means of diversifying the world energy market, RIA Novosti reports.

Shmatko said Iran was a potential partner in the gas sector as well, notably for exports to European markets.

"We believe that there are very good, fundamental prospects for Russia's close cooperation with Iran on Iran's natural gas supplies to Europe," he said.

Iran holds the second-largest gas reserves in the world behind Russia. The oil reserves for the Islamic republic rank third behind Saudi Arabia and Canada.

Iran and Russia in December led the formalization of a Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Moscow, which Iranian officials described as a "significant event."

Meanwhile, Iran's oil minister said Tuesday that its revenue for oil exports for the calendar year, which ends in Iran on March 20, was estimated at $69 billion.

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