Iran and China plan to jointly construct the fourth oil refinery of Kazakhstan, reported the Tasnim News Agency.

The refinery will be built in Mangistau Oblast – the country’s west – in cooperation with Iran and China

Vice-Governor of Mangistau Oblast Rakymbek Amirzhanov confirmed that representatives of Iran and China had proposed to take part in the construction.

“In Iran, all the oil refineries are located in the north of the country. All the oil fields are located in the south. Iran spends about $35 per ton of oil to transport crude from the south to the north of the country,” Amirzhanov said.

“Iran is ready to take the remaining volumes through the ports of Aktau and Kuryk, and give its crude oil in the (Persian) Gulf region to Chinese companies. This is China’s interest in the project of construction of the fourth Kazakhstani oil refinery,” Amirzhanov explained.

According to Press TV, while there was no immediate reaction to the report from Iranian energy officials, such oil swaps were normal in the past till ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suspended Caspian oil swaps of between 70,000 and 100,000 b/d in June 2010.

The Iranian government has also admitted it has received requests from its northern neighbors to revive the scheme.

Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh has said in August that Iran was ready to carry out swap deliveries of Azerbaijan’s oil.

Kazakhstan already uses Iran’s transit railway for agricultural trade and has voiced its interest in investment in Iran’s Shahid Rajaee Port in order to facilitate transit of its goods to world markets.