President Mohammad Khatami has inaugurated Phases 2 and 3 of Iran’s oil projects which he described as among the “biggest projects of Iran’s oil and gas industry”. The two phases will produce 54 million cubic metres of natural gas, 80,000 barrels of gas condensates and 400 tons of sulphur per day. Iran hopes to earn USD 1.32 billion annually from these units. The projects were carried out by French TotalFinaElf with a USD 2.12 billion investment in partnership with Malaysian Petronas and Russian Gazprom. The investments were made in buy-back deals. In this system, the foreign investor does not hold equity but recoups its spending and the profit involved once output starts. Zanganeh said there were also plans for the construction of LNG (liquefied natural gas) and GTL (gas to liquid) units as well as a refinery for gas condensates in Assalouyeh. Meanwhile, Phases 11 to 18 of the South Pars will be implemented in the “not far future”, the Iranian oil minister added. Deputy Oil Minister Mehdi Mirmoezzi said that the tender for Phase 11 will be issued in the coming weeks, at the most before the end of the Iranian year on 20 March. He announced TotalFinaElf, British Petroleum, Italy’s ENI and Statoil of Norway, as the bidders. Iran’s Petropars, which was once mired in a row of alleged kickbacks, has undertaken to carry out Phases 1, 6, 7, and 8. The company also accounts for the joint implementation of Phases 4 and 5 with ENI. Phases 9 and 10 have been awarded to South Korea’s Lucky Goldstar.
Zanganeh said there were also plans for the establishment of petrochemical plants in Assalouyeh with a five-billion-dollar investment in the initial phase. He said last August that deals, totalling three billion dollars, had been signed. Press later cited him as saying that National Petrochemical Company (NPC) had signed a USD 354 million deal with French Technip to build a light polyethylene unit.
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