Iran Enters Last Bidding Stage For South Pars Gas Field

Iran will hold its last negotiating session with the two final bidders for phases nine and ten of the South Pars gas field in Tehran later this week. Technip-Coflexip and Sunfire make up one consortium, while LG Construction Co. and Oil Industry Engineering and Constructions Co. are the main partners in the other consortium, Assadollah Salehi-Forouz, managing director of Pars Oil and Gas Co., said. "There are both technical and financial problems to be dealt with in the meeting with the representatives of the two prospective consortiums," Salehi-Forouz said. As soon as these problems are resolved the winners will be announced officially, he said, without elaborating on the problems.

The LG consortium stands a better chance of winning the estimated $2 billion contract, an oil ministry official said. Other companies, such as Samsung Corp. and Daewoo International Corp., could join LG's consortium.

Iran was supposed to announce the winning consortium in January, but the award has been postponed several times over the past few months. The international tender for the two phases was held about one-and-a-half years ago, Salehi-forouz said.

Pars Oil and Gas Co. is hoping to produce 50 million cubic meters of natural gas, 80,000 barrels of gas condensates and 400 tons of surphur a day from the two phases. The company also hopes the project will produce one million tons of ethane and about one million tons of liquefied petroleum gas.

The oil ministry plans to develop the South Pars gas field over 30 phases, each of which will require an initial investment of around $1 billion. South Pars is part of a bigger gas field shared with Qatar. Iran's portion of the field contains an estimated 13 trillion cubic meters of gas and 17 billion barrels of gas condensates valued at $700 billion.

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