Total and Shell investing $16 billion in Iran petrochemical industry. Another French company said to invest in South pars projects on collecting and reusing natural gas. R&D center of the state-owned Oil company is partnering with 8 international companies to transfer technology to the country, too.

The Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company is close to finalize an agreement with French energy major Total S.A. to conduct feasibility studies on petrochemical ventures in Iran, the managing director of PGPIC said

"Serious talks are underway with two multinationals, one of which is Total, to attract $9.5 billion in investment for commencing petrochemical joint ventures," Adel Nejad-Salim was also quoted as saying by NIPNA, the official news agency of National Petrochemical Company on Sunday this week.

The Pars Special Economic Energy Zone in Asalouyeh and the Parsian Special Economic Energy Zone in Bushehr Province are being studied by domestic experts and a final decision will be made soon, as said.

Total has reached a preliminary agreement to build three petrochemical plants, with a total capacity of 2.2 million tons in a deal that, if finalized, could see the French oil major investing up to $2 billion in Iran. 

Reportedly, Shell also signed an agreement with the National Iranian Oil Company last year on expanding cooperation in the key petrochemical industry. The Anglo-Dutch company has agreed to invest $350 million in a major petrochemical project in Hamedan Province, but analysts say its venture in Iran's petrochemical sector could soar to as much as $6 billion.

It has been reported also that as services company SOFREGAZ S.A. signed a $42 million deal with Iran's state oil company NIOC on last week on collecting and reusing natural gas that is being burned off in South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf.

The French firm will work with its Iranian partner, Sanat Sazeh Samin Company, to recycle 450,000 cubic meters of associated petroleum gas per day that is flared at South Pars 2nd Refinery, the NIOC news portal reported.

The agreement was signed in Tehran by Yann Aubry Lecomte, managing director of SOFREGAZ, Kourosh Ahanj, CEO of Sanat Sazeh Samin, and Ali Mohammad Ahmadi, director of South Pars Master Development Plan.

South Pars' 2nd Refinery receives natural gas from phases 2 and 3 of the mega project that is being developed in 24 phases by Iran. SOFREGAZ can be contracted to curb gas flaring in other South Pars refineries, if it lives up to its commitment, the report said. Lecomte said the deal will bring Iran up to speed with advanced APG recycling technology. "The primary goal of the project is to reuse 95% of flared gas (in SP 2nd Refinery) using the cutting-edge technology of UK's TechnipFMC," he said. TechnipFMC is an oil and gas field services company based in London.

Based on the 30-month agreement, SOFREGAZ will transfer know-how to its local partner that is expected to procure the equipment for the project. SOFREGAZ provides field gathering, treatment, pipeline transmission, LNG chain, pumping and compression, underground storage, liquefaction and re-gasification services for the natural gas market in France and internationally

The deal is part of Iran's efforts to reduce its environmental impact, especially in the oil and gas sector that has been the cause of some of the biggest environmental disasters in the last few decades.

According to NIOC, eliminating the flaring of associated gas in SP Phase 2 Refinery will prevent some 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.

Flaring is the practice of burning gas deemed uneconomical to collect and sell. It is also used to burn gases that would otherwise present a safety problem. An estimated 3.5% of the world’s natural gas supplies were wastefully burned at oil and gas fields in 2012, British scientific journal 'Nature' reported last year, citing estimates from satellite data

The United States has the largest number of flares, but Russia leads the world in the total volume of flared natural gas, the report said

placing Iran among the top three gas-flaring countries after Russia and Iraq

It also have been reported earlier this week that Iran's Petrochemical Research and Technology Company (PRTC) has teamed up with 8 foreign companies aiming at technology transfer to the country. According to a report by state-owned National Iranian South Oil Company, Iran has the highest rate of energy waste in the form of APG in the Middle East and ranks third in the world in terms of gas flaring. You can read the rest of the story here . Iran has said it needs $72 billion in foreign investment for 80 major petrochemical projects.

Sources: Financial Tribune on 10.Sep.2017 and SHANA on 12.Sep.2014

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