The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) announced today that it has signed a 3.5 billion dollar deal with an unnamed South Korean company to construct a 1,680km oil pipeline linking Iran’s Caspian Sea port of Neka to Jask, an Iranian port in the Sea of Oman. The pipeline would facilitate oil swap between Iran and the oil-rich Caspian Sea littoral states. No dates for the start or completion of the project were released [Mehr News Agency, 7 October].
Iran is planning to raise the volume of oil swapping with the Caspian countries from the present 25,000 barrels per day to 200,000 bbp by the end of current Iranian calendar year (March 2012), and with the new pipeline it can substantially increase that volume. The Central Asian countries would benefit from the deal by selling oil at Jask.