By John Lee.
A senior Iranian gas market official has told Argus that Iran has initiated discussions with foreign companies for the sale of some shares in an LNG (liquified natural gas) export project, which it hopes will be revived once sanctions on the country are lifted.
Mostafa Sharif, of the state-owned gas firm NIGC‘s export subsidiary NIGEC, said the 10.8mn t/yr joint-venture project — one of three LNG export projects Iran was planning to launch before sanctions were stepped up around 10 years ago — is a “frontrunner” among the country’s export projects.
NIGEC owns 49 percent of the LNG joint venture and Iran Oil Pension Fund holds the remaining 51 percent, and NIGEC is considering selling shares in the project to foreign companies that will help complete the project; NIGEC could reduce its share to 20-25 percent, while the Iran Oil Pension Fund also sell some of its stake.
Discussions with foreign oil companies could be concluded this year.
German industrial gases group Linde is expected to deliver liquefaction technology for the LNG project once sanctions are lifted.