Iran's National Iranian Oil Co. (NIO.YY) hopes to finalize deals with oil majors Total SA (TTFNF)
(TOT), Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RYDAF)
(RDSB.LN) and Repsol YPF SA (REP) towards the end of March to develop phase 11 and 13 of the country's giant South Pars gas field. Albawaba.com reports that South Pars Oil and Gas Co. would sign the contracts on the two phases sometime this week. In 2004, NIOC signed a framework deal with Total for the upstream development of phase 11 to develop liquefied natural gas (LNGLF)
in the Pars LNG project. Two LNG trains would produce 10 million metric tons annually and investment would be between $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion.
NIOC also signed a similar framework deal in 2004 with Royal Dutch Shell and Repsol to form the Persian LNG production company, linked to the development of phase 13 of South Pars and valued at $1.5 billion. These two new deals, along with NIOC's own projects NIOC LNG and Iran LNG, will help Iran to reach annual LNG production capacity of 30 million tons.
At 27 trillion cubic meters, Iraq has the world's second largest natural gas reserves after Russia. But Iran has been slow to develop its resources with a view to exports. Almost half of Iran's natural gas reserves lie in the South Pars gas field which is jointly shared with Qatar, which is already exporting large quantities of LNG from the joint reservoir. (Source: MarketWatch)