Iran: LNG project

Oil and Natural Gas Corp. may take up the 20% stake Malaysia’s Petronas has abandoned in a USD 2 billion liquefied natural gas project in Iran. Petronas had ceded its 20% interest in the Pars LNG production company set up last year to build a two billion dollar liquefaction facility in Iran. The project involved conversion of gas from Phase-11 of the giant South Pars offshore gas field into LNG. France’s total SA and Petronas hold 60% and 40% in the partnership looking to develop Block 11. The two had also formed a production company Pars LNG, half owned by Iranian state oil firm National Iranian Oil Co., with total holding a 30% share, and Petronas 20%. While Petronas withdrew from the LNG production project it was still committed to the development of gas in Block 11. Total in December concluded a framework deal with Iran allowing for a decision to go ahead with the Pars LNG project by early 2006. This agreement aimed to enable the start of engineering studies in 2005, which could have allowed a decision to launch the project at the end of 2005 or early 2006. The project will initially involve building two units that will produce 5 million tonnes each of LNG a year.

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