12 May 2007 - 15:31
  • News Code: 104421
Iran-China Yadavaran Talks Underway: Minister

TEHRAN -- A delegation from China was here to discuss Yadavaran oilfield development and negotiations are underway, underlined Iranian Minister of Petroleum Seyed Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh Saturday.

Vaziri-Hamaneh talking to the Farsi-language daily Kayhan dismissed some reports on China’s pullout of the 100 billion dollar contract as unreal and said, “Our deals with China are still in progress and they not only did not pull out, but also moved forward.

“We hope the ongoing talks will be the final round of discussions on the development of the Yadavaran oilfield.”

A memorandum of understanding was signed here with a second Chinese company for the development and production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in North Pars gas field and talks were on the go to sign the final contract, said the top official.

“Based on a signed memo, Iran also plans to construct a refinery in China and we are about to build an oil terminal in that country, as well.”

Yadavaran, southwestern Iran, is expected to produce 300,000 barrels per day, about the same amount Iran now exports to China.

Referring to a price dispute with Crescent Petroleum over the export of natural gas to the United Arab Emirates, Vaziri-Hamaneh said that Iran would consider other options for its LNG market if the Emirati side did not bring up a revised version of the contract in the near future.

“A clause in the Crescent contract envisions if the energy price in the region remarkably changes, the contract must be revised,” recalled the minister, adding, “So, we have explicitly reminded the UAE’s officials in a written letter of the issue and told them that Iran will not export gas to that country if they fail to amend the contract.”

The deal became controversial in Iran last year after some politicians said the country would not benefit from the exports because gas prices had risen sharply since the initial contract was signed. Iran later said it would not export to the UAE until it secured a higher price.

“We hope all outstanding commercial matters on this contract will be resolved in the very near future to the mutual benefit of both sides," National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Managing Director Gholamhossein Nozari said.

Construction of Iran"s side of the project was in its final stages, Nozari said.

Crescent Petroleum holds the gas supply contract with Iran and had expected first deliveries of gas in mid-2006. The initial agreement was for the supply of 600 million cubic feet per day. The pipeline and gas processing plants in UAE waters have long been complete.

 

News Code 104421

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