Iran reaches agreement on gas with Italian power company

Iran continues its engagement with foreign companies under a cloud of uncertainty because of the U.S. stance on the multilateral nuclear deal.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  Oct. 20, 2017 at 9:25 AM
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Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Iranian oil and gas companies said they've signed agreements with an Italian power company to capture flared gas at one of the world's largest natural fields.

Pars Oil and Gas Co., the National Iranian South Oil Co. and a handful of others said they signed a memorandum of understanding with Italian power company Ansaldo Energia to collect flared gas from Phase 12 of the operations at the South Pars gas field.

The World Bank has described natural gas as a bridge fuel to a low-carbon economy, noting it's unfortunate companies are burning it off at the wellhead. The bank said flaring adds to the amount of potent greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere. It's also wasting a valuable source of energy, which, if captured, could provide more electricity than the entire African continent currently consumes.

The Pars Oil and Gas Co. said late Thursday the flared gas would be used to generate electricity.

The Pars Oil and Gas Co., which helps drive operations at Iran's offshore South Pars natural gas field, was one of a handful of Iranian companies with a pavilion set up at the annual Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference, which wrapped up last week in Amsterdam. Iranian companies said from the expo they were set up to showcase the opportunities for international investors wanting to participate in Iran's offshore industries.

The Amsterdam conference concluded before U.S. President Donald Trump took a tougher line on Iran that could distance his administration from the multilateral nuclear deal from 2015 that brought sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for commitments to back off its nuclear ambitions.

Joe McMonigle, a senior energy analyst at Hedgeye Risk Management, told UPI earlier this week that Iran has probably peaked in terms of what it can do by itself. In order for Iran to produce more, it will need support from Western investors, something McMongile said would be difficult given Trump's recent decertification.

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