TEHRAN, OCT. 16 (Mehr News Agency) - Iran reached initial agreement with Royal Dutch Shell and Repsol companies for the development of South Pars gas field's phases 13 and 14, National Iranian Oil Company's director for investment affairs said here on Friday.
The Mehr News Agency quoted Hojatollah Ghanimifard as saying that, "we have reached agreement with the two foreign firms for early development of phase 13."
"Once the initial stage of the development of the phase 13 is finished, the phase's long-term development plan will get started in order to feed the Persian LNG unit as soon as possible," he added.
"We have set a date for the two foreign firms to declare their final decision about investment in the project," he said, declining to give further information about the specified date.
Last year, Shell delayed decisions on multi-billion dollar investments in Iranian LNG projects due to political tension.
Repsol has made large investments in Iran, which is the world's fourth-largest oil producer.
Repsol and Shell signed a service contract for the LNG project in January 2007, setting out the conditions for exploration and development operations in phases 13 and 14 of the South Pars project.
The Persian LNG project concerns development of production and exports of liquefied natural gas from a part of the South Pars field in the Persian Gulf. Repsol, Shell, and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) signed an initial deal in 2002 to develop Phase 13 of South Pars.
It said production from those phases would feed a future LNG plant that would have two liquefaction trains, each with capacity for 8.1 million tons per year, but that a final investment decision had yet to be taken.
According to Oil and Gas Journal, Iran's 2008 estimated proven natural gas reserves stand at 948 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), second only to Russia. Roughly two-thirds of Iranian natural gas reserves are located in non-associated fields and have not been developed.
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