News ID: 196506
Published: 1015 GMT July 11, 2017

Iran expects steep increase in gas output, exports

Iran expects steep increase in gas output, exports

Iran will see a steep rise in natural gas output and exports after last year's easing of Western sanctions, said a deputy oil minister on Tuesday, adding that recent deals with global firms show they believe sanctions will not come back.

Amir Hossein Zamani-Nia, Iran's deputy oil minister for trade and international affairs, said Iran's gas production would rise to one billion cubic meters a day by the end of the year from the current 800 million cubic meters (mcm) per day, Reuters reported.

He said volumes available for export should reach 365 mcm a day by 2021, which is higher than the exports of the world's top liquefied natural gas producer Qatar.

France's Total signed a deal earlier this month to help Iran increase gas output from the giant South Pars Gas Field, which the country shares with Qatar.

Total will be the operator with a 50.1 percent stake, alongside Chinese state-owned energy company CNPC with 30 percent and National Iranian Oil Company subsidiary Petropars with 19.9 percent.

The deal marked the first by a major global energy company signed with Iran since the easing of sanctions against Tehran in January 2016.

"With the contracts signed last week, with the Chinese company and Total and the Iranian company, that is also a very good indication that the assessment by international oil companies is that the return of sanctions is very unlikely, if not impossible," Zamani-Nia said in a conference in Istanbul.

Iran has signed a flurry of deals with Western companies over the past year since the easing of international sanctions on Tehran after an accord was reached over its nuclear program.

Iran needs foreign investment to repair and upgrade its oil and gas fields. It also seeks the transfer of technology to its oil industry after a decade of sanctions.

Shell signed a provisional deal to develop Iranian oil and gas fields South Azadegan, Yadavaran and Kish in December 2016.

Iran has named 34 companies from more than a dozen countries as being eligible to bid for oil and gas projects using the new, less restrictive contract model.

The firms include Shell, France's Total, Italy's Eni, Malaysia's Petronas and Russia's Gazprom and Lukoil, as well as companies from China, Austria, Japan and other countries.

Russia's Zarubezhneft signed an MoU to conduct feasibility studies on two joint fields in the west of the country.

Norway's International Aker Solutions Company signed an MoU to modernize Iran's oil industry.

In May 2016, Austria's OMV signed an MoU for projects in the Zagros area in western Iran and the Fars field in the south.

South Korean Daewoo Engineering and Construction (Daewoo E&C) signed an MoU to construct an oil refinery in Bandar Jask, on the southern coast of Iran.

Italy's Saipem signed MoUs to cooperate on pipeline projects, upgrading of refineries and development of Tous gas field in the northeastern province of Khorasan Razavi.

Norwegian oil and gas company DNO said it was the second Western energy company after Total to sign a deal with Iran under which it agreed to study the development of the Changuleh oilfield in western Iran.

Lukoil, Russia's second biggest oil producer, hopes to reach a decision on developing two new oilfields in Iran.

Germany's Siemens AG signed an MoU in May to overhaul equipment and facilities at Iran's oil operations and refineries.

BASF's Wintershall oil and gas exploration subsidiary signed an MoU with the National Iranian Oil Company in April 2016.

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