November 15, 2017


Iran's path to becoming an LNG exporter (Bijan Khajehpour November 14, 2017, Al Monitor)

By the late 2000s, however, the international partners in the first two ventures were forced to abandon the projects given the intensification of nuclear sanctions against Iran. What remained was the third project, Iran LNG, and the frustration in Tehran that massive investments in the LNG sector had gone to waste. In fact, in light of the withdrawal of international companies and potential technology providers, Iran excluded any role for LNG in its subsequent gas sector strategy.

Developments in a number of fields have since compelled Iranian petroleum sector strategists to reconsider and take a more serious look at LNG. The factors contributing to the shift in strategy include the following:

Growth in gas production: Iran's actual gas production and potential for exports have increased substantially, allowing the country to plan for major export activity.

Availability of Western technology: The lifting of nuclear sanctions has made it feasible for Tehran to again secure the needed technologies and equipment to construct LNG complexes. [...]

The first steps in the shift have already been taken. Tehran signed an agreement with Oman to export Iranian gas to Oman via pipeline and then to use excess capacity in Oman to produce LNG. This first step was designed to put Iran, as a small player, on the global LNG map. The second step was taken when Tehran signed an agreement with the Norwegian company Helma Vantage to provide it with FLNG capacity. The advantage of an FLNG facility is that it can be shifted if gas supply locations change due to the flow of projects. This means that a floating LNG unit can be installed depending on where new sources of gas become available. In the meantime, Total SA, the French company that signed the South Pars Phase 11 agreement with Tehran in July, is in talks with Iran to acquire Iran LNG, mentioned above.

Posted by at November 15, 2017 6:24 AM