News ID: 204584
Published: 1140 GMT November 19, 2017

Iran LNG ambitions possible by end-2018

Iran LNG ambitions possible by end-2018

Iran could export its first LNG consignment as early as next year if it presses ahead with its proposed floating LNG (FLNG) production project.

National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has signed a joint venture contract with IFLNG to deploy a 500,000-ton FLNG barge to liquefy Iranian gas, and store and transfer the cargoes, reported.

IFLNG is a joint venture between Helma Vantage of Norway and Iran's Kharg Gas Refining Co. They are talking to Belgium-based shipowner Exmar about a short-term charter for Caribbean FLNG.

Analyst BMI says that the $600-million project would be insignificant in terms of volume — but would help Iran to deepen its integration with partners in Asia and Europe and build up the country's experience in LNG trade and marketing.

"Iran could export its first LNG by the end of 2018, following an agreement to deploy the Exmar-owned Caribbean FLNG at Pars Service Port on Kharg Island," BMI said.

Exmar has declined to comment. However, BMI argues that — subject to financing and securing the vessel — the Kharg/Helma project could be ready to operate 'in a short period'.

"Iran offers one of the fastest options to employ and monetize the currently redundant Caribbean FLNG vessel," BMI said.

"The facility was constructed to process natural gas, which has a high methane content of 97.6 percent.

"While the gas feed from South Pars is far wetter, with greater gas liquids and condensate content, methane from flared gas at nearby offshore projects is the targeted supply."

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Iranian Envoy to Norway Mohammad Hassan Habibollahzadeh and Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Søviknes reviewed cooperation in the fields of oil and gas and renewable energies.

Habibollahzadeh voiced Iran's readiness to take advantage of Norwegian companies' experiences, technical knowledge and investment.

Meanwhile, Søviknes sympathized with the bereaved families of the victims of the fatal quake that hit western Iran on November 12.

He welcomed the increasing participation of Norwegian oil and gas firms in Iran.

He referred to the opening of Institute for Energy Technology office in Tehran as a positive step in developing cooperation between two countries in oil and gas and renewable energies sectors.

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