Azerbaijan, Baku, September 5 /Trend, N. Umid
Iran's National Oil Company cannot pay the profit for South Pars gas field project's participation bonds, the Iranian Jahanesanat newspaper reported.
The time for paying 20 per cent profits has now come while none of the South Pars phases have been inaugurated yet, the report said.
Ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sold foreign currency bonds worth $1.5 billion and 40,000 billion rials (approximately $1.61 billion based on official rate of 24,800 rials per each USD) to finance the South Pars gas field's development projects.
According to the report, the pay-out time for the foreign currency bonds has now arrived and the national currency bonds` profit pay-out time will arrive in a few months.
In January 2012, Iran's Pars Oil and Gas Company (POGC) head Mousa Souri argued that offering a profit of up to 35 per cent on the South Pars gas field bonds to attract public participation is economically justified, whilst 18 months year after that statement paying the offered 20 per cent profit seems impossible.
Considering the decrease of foreign investments in Iran due to international sanctions as well as increase of liquidity, Ahmadinejad`s administration issued 13.7 trillion rials (some $950 million) in bonds in 2011, but just $250 million of the bonds were sold.
Iran refers to the low interest rate as the main reason for the small public demand for the bonds which held 17 per cent in profit. So the Central Bank increased the interest rate to 20 per cent in February 2012.
Unlike the first round of issuing the bonds for the South Pars gas field, when 84 per cent of the bonds did not sell, some $1 billion of the bonds were issued and totally sold out for the second time.
The South Pars gas field is jointly held by Iran and Qatar. The Iranian section, which is divided into 29 phases, holds around 14 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. Iran's total gas reserves amount to 34 trillion cubic meters. The country's daily natural gas production and consumption are estimated at 554 million cubic meters and 551 million cubic meters, respectively.
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