A top Iranian official says his country is negotiating with Golar LNG Ltd to export gas to EU in two years.
"Iran is in talks with European companies, including Oslo- and Nasdaq-listed Golar LNG Ltd., to build floating LNG facilities-offshore vessels on which the gas would be liquefied. Such a project would take less than two years," Alireza Kameli, managing director of National Iranian Gas Export Co told in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
Golar declined to comment.
Once LNG facilities are in place, exports to Europe definitely could be considered," he added.
"Tehran is exploring several options to help the country "join the international LNG club. One project would involve restarting work on the country's most advanced LNG project, Iran LNG, which was 40% complete when tightened Western sanctions forced work to be abandoned in 2012. It could take another three to four years to complete the project", he said.
The production capacity of Iran LNG is 10.4 million metric tons per annum.
"Another option would be building a pipeline beneath the Persian Gulf to Oman, which has LNG facilities that Iran could potentially use. Oman has agreed to build the pipeline within two years," he said.
Omani officials didn't respond to requests for comment.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Iran exports small quantities of gas to Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey, typically about 9 billion cubic meters a year. "Another Iranian gas official said last year that Iran could export about 30 billion cubic meters to the EU in the long term. That estimate is consistent with one EU assessment, which put EU imports at between 25 billion and 35 billion cubic meters of gas a year from Iran by 2030, if LNG facilities are developed".
Sending Iranian gas by pipeline through Turkey is generally considered the shortest route to Europe, but building the infrastructure enough to increase exports "doesn't seem feasible" economically, Kameli said.