Dec 12, 2017, 1:49 PM
News Code: 82760961
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Iran oil terminals handling capacity at 28mb/d: Oil official

Tehran, Dec 12, IRNA - A senior official of the Iranian Oil Terminals Company (IOTC) has said that the company has handled 1.8 million barrels of crude oil within the framework of swap operation since the project was resumed in northern Iran after a hiatus.

According to Pirouz Mousavi, CEO of IOTC, the company is to increase this capacity in the future.

The IOTC is a strategic subsidiary of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and is tasked with storage, measurement as well as import and export of crude oil, petroleum products and gas condensate, as well as offshore services.

It is also managing crude oil swap operations.

Mousavi made the remarks in an interview with the Iran Petroleum monthly which is affiliated to Iran's Ministry of Petroleum.

the full text of his interview appeared in the latest issue of the monthly (No. 65).

Referring to the capacity of Iran's crude oil swap operations in northern Iran, the Mousavi said, 'Fortunately, several developments have happened with regard to swap operations with the Caspian Sea littoral states since August, and 1.8 million barrels of oil has since been shipped from Central Asian countries to refineries in Tabriz and Tehran in more than 36 cargoes. The equivalent amount has been delivered to foreign buyers in Kharg Island. I have to recall that swap operations in the north of the country are carried out via Neka terminal, which is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, technologically advanced labs and skilled workforce. It can handle 1.5 million barrels of oil. Refineries receiving crude oil have so far expressed satisfaction with the quality of the oil. The relaunch of oil swap with the Caspian Sea littoral states is another achievement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).'

Commenting on the possibility of witnessing enhanced oil swap capacity between Iran and Central Asia in the near future, Mousavi said, '…at the moment Iran has the capacity to receive 200,000 b/d of crude oil from Central Asian countries. It currently receives around 50,000 b/d. NIOC and Iran's Foreign Affairs Ministry are in talks with foreign parties to increase the volume of swap operations. Oil swap with Turkmenistan is currently under way. Kazakhstan, Russia and Azerbaijan will soon join this country. Given the serious talks under way by Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Petroleum with foreign parties, I think that we will soon witness significant increase in swap.'

Referring to the amount of Iran's loss due to the halt of crude oil swap with the Caspian Sea littoral states during years of sanctions, he said,' It happened exactly in 2010. The decision by Iran to halt swap under those circumstances was an erroneous and unplanned one. It was adopted only based on several reports. Iran has since then suffered many losses in terms of foreign interactions, Caspian Sea security and economy. In other words, this improper decision put in peril Iran's national interests. Meantime, we should not forget a $500-million investment plus 150-strong manpower of Neka terminal who lost their jobs during those years.'

As for Iran's plans to increase the capacity of receiving crude oil from the Caspian Sea states, Mousavi said, 'According to plans, a project has been envisaged to handle more than 500,000 b/d of oil. This project is planned to be built on 300 ha of land in the form of 13 jetties. So far, drainage operations and building of loading arms have been completed and 300,000 b/d of oil could be handled in the near future there.

He added that Iran's current crude oil storage capacity 'has reached 28 million barrels, which will be soon increased by 10 million barrels after the startup of privately-owned Ganaveh project. Once this capacity increased to 38 million barrels, Iran will be closer to international standards. Iran is exporting its crude oil on a daily basis which complies with its OPEC quota.
Currently due to good levels of crude oil exports, Iran's oil storage capacity is below 19 mb/d. That is because of Iran's agreement with countries and companies buying crude oil. For instance, Iran's crude oil exports to Europe are now more than the pre-sanctions levels.'


As for the IOTC's plans for the southeastern port of Jask, Mousavi said, 'The Iranian government's policy relies on establishing an oil terminal in the Makran coastal area and the Sea of Oman. To that end, more than 5,400 ha of land has been purchased and a refinery and a terminal with a capacity of 10 million barrels are expected to be erected there. Gas destined for Oman crosses this area. Crude oil is planned to be piped from Goureh to Jask before being exported by four single-point moorings. The project is planned to be done by the private sector over the coming four years. That would bring the crude oil storage capacity to 48 million barrels. Foreign companies and investors can cooperate with the private sector in this project.'


Referring to the IOTC's overhaul plans, the official said, 'According to pre-scheduled plans, overhaul is under way at storage facilities and jetties. Currently, nine oil loading jetties are operating in Kharg. Furthermore, Iran has repaired more than 250 kilometers of its subsea pipeline, which is set to remove hydrodynamic scour at 250 critical points. Iran is monitoring and repairing pipelines by DP2 vessel which is fitted with cutting edge technologies.'


As for the IOTC new records in daily oil exports in recent years, he said, 'Last April we managed to repeat our last year's 8-million-barrel record. In the wake of reconstruction at the Kharg jetties we hope to set the 10-million-barrel record. To that end, overhaul of loading arms and metering of Azarpad jetty at Kharg Island are under way. We will also see a major change in offshore operations after buying four new tugboats.'


Commenting on the IOTC's plans for cooperation with foreign companies, Mousavi said that the company is 'currently ready to cooperate with major world companies in the field of maintenance of storage tanks. We have held talks with the Dutch company Vopak on this issue. We hope to soon sign a sister company deal with this company which is handling 60 oil terminals to cooperate in sharing experience and technological knowhow. Foreign investors can also cooperate with us in investment in the Jask terminal and buying tugboats on the rent-to-own basis. We currently own 10 tugboats and we have rented two others. We plan to add four tugboats to our fleet in order to phase out four clapped-out ones.'


As for the company's social responsibility plans, Mousavi said that in cooperation with the Ports and Maritime Organization, the Office of Deputy CEO of IOTC for Human Resources has received permit 'to stage offshore pilots for the first time in the country. Fortunately, after the notification of laws and regulations on the maintenance of oil storage tanks, many projects have been considered. For instance, oil storage tanks earthing has been commissioned in Iran. Due to climate change in southern Iran, we hope to minimize the rate of accidents at Kharg terminal.

In addition to our obligations, we have made great achievements in the public interest projects. For instance, we have provided two passenger ships navigating between Bushehr and Kharg and three others between Kharg and Ganaveh as part of our efforts to serve local people in Kharg. Besides, more projects like water and power supply have been implemented.'

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