Iran expects to sign a $40 billion agreement with Russian energy major Gazprom in December, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mahdi Safari said, according to a media report.
"We have closed a $6.5 billion deal with Gazprom. We hope that the remaining agreements totaling $40 billion will be signed next month," Safari told ISNA news agency, adding that negotiations are underway, RT reported.
The National Iranian Oil Company and Gazprom had agreed in July to cooperate in the development of two gas deposits and six oilfields in Iran. The document also includes swaps in natural gas and oil products, the implementation of LNG projects, and construction of gas pipelines.
In early October, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak had announced that Moscow and Tehran may agree to a swap of 5 million tonnes of oil and 10 billion cubic metres of gas, to be completed by the end of the year, RT reported.
Novak said that Russia and Iran have already started swap deliveries of energy resources, in particular petroleum products, and agreed to expand the list of traded goods. He also noted that "the amount of Russian investment in Iran's oil fields will increase".
The development comes as Russia and Iran rapidly expand their energy and trade ties amid the Western sanctions imposed on both nations. Barter deals help the countries avoid settlement issues presented by the Western financial system. They also enjoy direct trade links via the Caspian Sea, RT reported.
Iranian Petroleum Minister Javad Owji said at the bilateral forum that public and private sectors in both countries are looking to "neutralise the sanctions." (SJ/IANS)