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Neka Port Receive First Oil Swap Cargo in years


(NIOC) _ Oil and gas explorer Dragon Oil has shipped a cargo of oil from Turkmenistan to a port in northern Iran, resuming swap which Iran halted in 2010.

The Russian-flagged VF Tanker-20 discharged around 6,000 tonnes of Turkmen origin crude oil at a terminal in the Caspian port of Neka on Aug. 3.

The voyage was the second by VF Tanker-20 this month to Neka for the discharge of oil from Turkmenistan.

Dragon Oil was loading the third crude oil cargo aboard another vessel operated by the Russian tanker company.

Dragon, which is owned by Dubai-based Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc), used to ship the crude it produces from its offshore development in Turkmenistan to Neka and receive crude produced by Iran at Kharg Island in the Persian Gulf.

The company moved about 80 percent of the crude it pumps from its 44,000-45,000 barrels per day field through the swap deal, with the remaining 20 percent marketed through Baku in Azerbaijan.

Dragon diverted all export volumes to Europe via Azerbaijan and Russia, which required paying higher transit fees, when the Iran route was closed down.

The average daily swap was 90,000 bpd in 2009, which Iran planned to raise to 300,000 by 2015.

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