Iraq says U.S. sanctions on Tehran won't affect crude swap deal with Iran

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi speaks during a news conference in Basra, Iraq June 6, 2018. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani

VIENNA (Reuters) - U.S. sanctions on Iran will not affect an Iraqi-Iranian deal on swapping crude oil, Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said on Friday during an OPEC meeting to discuss production levels.

Iraq agreed last year to ship crude from the northern Kirkuk oilfield to Iran for use in its refineries, after which Iran would deliver the same amount of oil to Iraq’s southern ports.

For now, the minister said crude being shipped to Iran was being made in payment for electricity Iraq had received, rather than as a crude swap. “We have just started really small quantities for their refineries, not on a swap basis,” he told reporters.

REporting by Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Edmund Blair and David Evans