Italian firm seeks to import Iranian gas

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 9

By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

A Italian company, is ready to buy natural gas from Iran.

Alireza Kameli, Managing Director of the National Iranian Gas Exports Company (NIGEC), said the company, which as been doing business with NIGEC before, has expressed interest in importing Iranian gas.

Kameli said the company wants to import Iranian gas upon the completion of a pipeline meant to transfer natural gas from Iran to Europe, Iran's IRNA news agency reported on May 9.

Kameli made the remarks on the sidelines of the 19th International Oil, Gas, Refining and Petrochemical Exhibition, which is currently underway in Tehran.

The 19th International Oil, Gas, Refining and Petrochemical Exhibition kicked off in the
Iranian capital, Tehran, on May 6 with hundreds of major international oil firms attending the event. Some 600 foreign companies as well as 1200 domestic companies participated in the exhibition.

The Italian company has long been cooperating with NIGEC in the field of crude oil, Kameli said.

On May 7, Ezzatollah Ramezani, Director of the National Iranian Gas Company for International Affairs, told Iran's Mehr news agency that negotiations on gas exports were underway with four EU nations.

He added that Turkey will be certainly one of the gas export routes.

Although he did not mention the countries with which negotiations are carried out, but a project for transferring natural gas from the Caspian region through Turkey to Europe (by Trans Adriatic pipeline) will be inaugurated by 2018.

The pipeline will go through Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey and will reach Greece, to transfer gas to Albania and Italy. At the first stage, the pipeline will transfer gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field. Iran has a share of 10 percent in the field.

Ali Akbar Shabanpour, Managing Director of Iran's Pars Oil and Gas Company (POGC) also said on May 9 that two Italian companies including a subsidiary of Eni, have held talks with POGC to provide equipment for the South Pars gas field project.

South Pars is Iran's giant gas field, joint with Qatar, and holds 14 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. Iran inaugurated 10 phases of South Pars and some of phases are under development. The project is divided to 29 phases.

South Pars's share in Iran's gas output is about 45 percent. Iran planned to boost the figure to 70 percent until 2008.

Iran produced about 575 million cubic meters of gross gas during last year.

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