Iran Gas Ambition Requires China to Crack LNG Secret
From Khaleej Times
Iran is unlikely to become a big exporter of natural gas unless China – a crucial partner as international sanctions scare others off – can develop tricky technology to liquefy the country’s massive gas reserves.
Iran sits on the world’s second-largest gas reserves after Russia but U.S. trade restrictions have frustrated plans to develop them for export and booming domestic demand has made Iran the third-largest consumer and a top-30 importer.
New European Union bans on supplying energy equipment make it almost impossible for Tehran to get full-scale liquefaction (LNG) technology from Germany’s Siemens, with the only other process patented by U.S. industrial giant and military supplier GE already off limits under U.S. laws.
“It just makes it more clear that if LNG is going to happen from Iran it’s going to have to be under the blanket of the Chinese and the Chinese are going to have to come up with their own technology,” Noel Tomnay, global gas analyst at Wood Mackenzie in Edinburgh said of the EU sanctions.
“The Chinese have been working on this for quite some time … and if that were to happen successfully then Iranian LNG, under a dedicated China project, could still proceed but that’s very uncertain.”
China’s National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed a deal this year to develop the South Pars field, replacing France’s Total, as part of an international search by state-run Chinese energy companies to fuel rapid economic growth.
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