One million barrels per day of crude oil will be transferred from the Caspian Sea to the Gulf of Oman once the Neka-Jask pipeline is operational, it was announced in Tehran Monday.

Caretaker of Ministry of Petroleum Gholam-Hossein Nozari told reporters that this is an strategic decision for Iran, which will increase the capacity for oil swap from the current figure of 150,000 to one million barrels per day.

Speaking on the sidelines of inauguration of the plan to increase the capacity of Bandar Abbas-to-Isfahan pipeline, Nozari stated that Neka-Jask cross-country pipeline will allow littoral countries of Caspian Sea to take their oil at a lower cost to free seas.

Asked about the plan to increase the capacity of Bandar Abbas-Isfahan pipeline, he noted that the plan will change the transfer system of oil and oil products from trucks to pipeline--a move seen as both less costly and safer.

He said Bandar Imam Petrochemical Complex is a major hub for petrochemical industries while Assaluyeh is the hub of the gas industry.

According to current plans, Bandar Abbas refinery, which is capable of treating about one million barrels of crude oil, will become a hub for the oil refining industry, he said, adding that negotiations on the Peace Pipeline are going on in a satisfactory manner and that the project will certainly be carried out.

(C) 2007 Asia Pulse Pte Ltd.