AFP: China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the country’s biggest oil producer, will invest 3.6 billion dollars to develop a block in Iran’s offshore gas field, state media reported Monday. BEIJING, Jan 15, 2007 (AFP) – China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the country’s biggest oil producer, will invest 3.6 billion dollars to develop a block in Iran’s offshore gas field, state media reported Monday.
CNPC is still negotiating with Iran over the details of the project expected to lead to a seven-year deal to develop Block 14 of the South Pars gas field, the China Business News said.
It added the company will invest 1.8 billion dollars on exploration of the block, which is reported to have natural gas reserves of 370 billion cubic meters (1.3 trillion cubic feet).
Another 1.8 billion dollars will be used to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant with an annual output of 4.5 million tonnes.
However, Liu Weijiang, a spokesman for CNPC’s international business department in Beijing, declined to comment on the report.
“CNPC has many subsidiaries and it’s normal if they conduct business,” said Liu.
Another spokesman for CNPC’s Hong Kong listed arm, PetroChina, also said he was not aware of the potential agreement.
China has ratcheted up a global search for energy over the past few years as the nation seeks to secure resources that can power the world’s fastest growing major economy.
Last week, Iran announced it would finalise in February a 16-billion-dollar gas agreement with China’s largest offshore oil producer CNOOC despite Washington’s threat to slap sanction on Tehran over its nuclear program.
Beijing is already the second largest buyer of energy products from Iran, home to the world’s second biggest proven oil reserves after Saudi Arabia and the second biggest gas reserves after Russia.
Last month, PetroChina signed a deal with National Iranian Gas Exports Company in which Iran agreed to sell China three million tonnes of gas from the Pars LNG project over 25 years, beginning in 2011.