Iran is prepared to announce the winning bidders for phases 9-12 of its massive South Pars natural gas field on March 13th, according to an Iranian oil official on March 7th.
The official indicated that the phases would be awarded either on Iran’s standard buy-back terms, under which foreign companies recoup their investments through production sharing, or through direct financing.
The official also said that U.S. firms, prohibited from investing in Iran’s oil sector by U.S. unilateral sanctions against Tehran, had not submitted bids. A total of 24 companies had placed bids, with 20 still in contention for the phases.
The official indicated that Petropars, a semi-official Iranian oil company which has been heavily involved in other phases of the project, was not included.
Industry sources have estimated that each phase would require investment of about $1 billion.
Contracts worth more than $7 billion have already been signed covering the first eight of the project’s 25 phases, but progress has been slow.
The first phase, worth $770 million, is being handled by Petropars and has faced procurement delays. Phases two and three, worth $2 billion, were awarded to a consortium of TotalFinaElf, Russian Gazprom and Malaysian Petronas.
Phases four and five, requiring investment of about $1.9 billion, involve Eni and Petropars, while phases six and seven, worth about $2.65 billion, are being handled by Petropars and U.K.-based Enterprise Oil.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)