Gazprom May Participate in Iran LNG Projects

Gazprom May Participate in Iran LNG ProjectsGazprom May Participate in Iran LNG Projects

Russia's top natural gas producer, Gazprom, may take part in liquefied natural gas projects in Iran once sanctions against Tehran are lifted, Gazprom's deputy chief executive officer, Alexander Medvedev, said.

"Gazprom does not rule out its participation in these projects under certain conditions," Medvedev told reporters. "The sanctions should be lifted first," he was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Gazprom was involved in developing Iran's South Pars gas project, but its participation was stalled because of sanctions. South Pars is the world's largest gas field, shared between Iran and Qatar, covering an area of 3,700 square kilometers of Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.

An abundance of condensate and natural gas liquids in Iran make Iranian LNG export projects highly competitive, even as supply swells due to US shale gas and big finds off East Africa. Experts say, however, that it would take a decade or more for Iran to become a major LNG exporter.

Russia has stepped up efforts to strengthen ties with Iran and announced an oil-for-goods program in which Iran would export up to 500,000 barrels of oil per day to Russia in exchange for goods, including grain. Iran and six countries, including Russia, reached an interim agreement in early April and are working toward a final deal by the end of this month that could see sanctions lifted.

  Gas Deliveries to Azerbaijan

Russia's energy giant Gazprom could begin gas deliveries to Azerbaijan by the end of 2015, Gazprom's chief executive officer, Alexei  Miller said Friday. "Our colleagues from Azerbaijan have asked us to begin deliveries of Russian natural gas as soon as possible," Miller said at a news conference in Moscow.

"We are talking about deliveries on the basis of a mid-to-long-term contract in the amount of several billion cubic meters annually. The deliveries could start before the end of this year," Miller said.

"A contract for deliveries of Azerbaijani gas to Russia is in force until the end of 2015."

Gazprom and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic signed the contract in 2009, deliveries started in 2010 and were gradually reduced until they stopped in the middle of 2014.

  Nord Stream-2 Gas Pipeline

Both lines of Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline will be commissioned by 2019 yearend, Miller said.

"We will use the lessons learned by Nord Stream AG, accumulated during construction and operation of the Nord Stream-1 pipeline. The successful track record on the Baltic Sea will help us to optimize construction costs and timeframe. Both lines of the Nord Stream-2 will be commissioned by 2019 yearend," Miller said.

"We will initiate establishment of a joint company for the project implementation" in the nearest future. The Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline will be built for new volumes of Gazprom’s export, he added.

Gazprom, E.ON, Shell, and OMV signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on the project of developing the gas transport infrastructure for direct supplies of the Russian gas to European consumers on June 18, 2015. A joint venture for the project implementation will be established in the nearest future.

The Nord Stream gas pipeline is a fundamentally new route for Russian gas exports to Europe. The target markets for gas supplies via Nord Stream are Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, France, Denmark and others. It will link Russia’s Baltic Sea coast near Vyborg with Germany’s Baltic Sea coast in the vicinity of Greifswald. The pipeline is 1,224 kilometers long.