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Iran, Russia review new oil arrangement

Russia get could about 100,000 barrels of oil per day from Iran under the deal.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Iran, Russia review new oil arrangement
Iran and Russia revisiting the terms of a 2014 proposal to swap oil for goods. Photo by Oskari Porkka/Shutterstock

Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Amendments to a 2014 proposal to swap oil for goods calls for the purchase of 100,000 barrels of oil per day from Iran, Russia's government said Monday.

Iranian trade representatives raised the possibility of oil swaps and refinery construction during a visit to Moscow in late 2014. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Monday both sides were revisiting that deal with a focus on securing 100,000 bpd from Iran under modified terms.

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Both sides are "discussing the terms ... of those issues," he was quoted by news agency Tass as saying Monday.

Both sides already cooperate in a variety of fields, with Russia supplying fuel for Iran's nuclear reactor at Bushehr.

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If it materializes, the situation may be a test for U.S. President Donald Trump, who is seen as warm to Moscow but colder to Tehran than his predecessor. When it first surfaced as an oil-for-goods swap in 2014, Washington said it would be "very troubling" if it were actually developed.

Both sides are party to an agreement led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties to limit production in an effort to balance the market. Russia is contributing as a non-member state, while Iran is the only OPEC member with room for growth as it looks to regain a market share lost to sanctions.

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For Iran, Tass reports the agreement would allow Iran to make better use of under-utilized refineries in the north of the country as most of downstream focus is concentrated in the south.

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According to Iran's oil minister, the agreement could be solidified by the middle of March.

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