Iran says it's signed its first agreement tied to LNG

Iran says it will deliver gas from a South Pars gas refinery to a ship owned by a Belgian company.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  Oct. 26, 2017 at 9:08 AM
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Oct. 26 (UPI) -- An Iranian energy company said it signed its first-ever deal for the sale of gas slated for foreign delivery as super-cooled liquefied natural gas.

SHANA, the Iranian oil ministry's news website, said the National Iranian Oil Co. and a consortium controlled by Iranian and Norwegian companies signed the agreement for LNG.

"The gas will be delivered by the floating liquefaction unit Caribbean FLNG, owned by Belgium's Exmar, with 500,000 tons of LNG production capacity annually," the report read.

LNG has more options for delivery than conventional natural gas, which is bound by transnational pipelines that are sometimes exposed to geopolitical risk.

The announcement comes one week after 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 Iranian oil company said the LNG deal lasts for 20 years and kicks in within the next three months. The floating LNG will dock daily at a Pars gas refinery, SHANA's report read.

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 in Amsterdam this month. Speaking to the Financial Times, Amir Hossein Zamaninia, the deputy oil minister for international affairs, said the country is in talks with everyone "except the Americans."

By his estimate, there are talks under way for more than two dozen agreements with foreign companies, which could lead to more than $20 billion in contracts over the next year.

President Hassan Rouhani set a goal of signing 10 new development deals by the end of the Iranian calendar year, March 20.

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