China seeks to finalize energy contracts with Iran

China will soon send its top economic planner to Iran in hopes of finalizing energy contracts worth more than 100 billion dollars, state press reported.

China seeks to finalize energy contracts with Iran

National Developmental Reform Commission chief Ma Kai will lead a delegation to Tehran as early as March to sign agreements for massive exports from the Yadavaran oil fields, finance magazine Caijing said on its website.

His trip will be a follow-up to a memorandum of understanding signed in October 2004 between Iran and Sinopec, China's largest refiner, to buy 250 million tons of liquefied national gas (LNG) over 25 years. That arrangement could be worth more than 100 billion dollars.

Friday's Asian Wall Street Journal, citing Iranian oil ministry officials familiar with the China talks, said Iran was trying to conclude any deals before potential sanctions are imposed over its nuclear program.

The gas deal with China also calls for Sinopec to develop the Yadavaran oil fields, where it could tap into billions of dollars of the estimated three billion barrels of recoverable reserves there, Caijing said.

In talks in Tehran in December, both sides agreed to seek to finalize the deal early this year, Caijing reported.

Sinopec chairman Mu Shuling told the magazine this week that his company would take a 51 percent stake in the Yadavaran project and India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp would take 29 percent.

The remaining 20 percent could go to an Iranian firm, while Royal Dutch Shell had also expressed an interest, it said.

If sealed, Iranian officials have said the agreement would mark one of the biggest ever foreign contracts for Iran. The Islamic republic has the world's second largest oil and gas reserves. But its constitution stipulates the "prevention of foreign economic domination over the country's economy."

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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