Iran to help Venezuela with LNG production

Oct 26, 2010 12:00 AM

Iran plans to help Venezuela in producing 5.4 mm tons of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

Based on a Letter of Intention (LoI) signed by the two countries' oil ministers during Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's visit to Tehran earlier, Iran's LNG Company will take part in Venezuela's LNG production project. Iranian engineers are to conduct the FEED (front-end engineering and design) studies of the venture.

According to the agreement, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) will transfer 10 % of its share in Iran's LNG Company to the Venezuelan National Oil Company and the Venezuelan side will grant 20 % of its share in the Delta Caribe project to Iran's LNG Company.

Since taking office in 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expanded Iran's cooperation with many Latin American states, including Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba. But the strong and rapidly growing ties between Iran and Venezuela have raised eyebrows in the US and its western allies since Tehran and Caracas have forged an alliance against the imperialist and colonialist powers and are striving hard to reinvigorate their relations with the other independent countries which pursue a line of policy independent from the US.

The US Department of State has announced that it would closely monitor the recent energy agreements between Venezuela and Iran. The US State Department's announcement came after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, on a visit to Iran, signed a number of agreements focused on energy cooperation with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Among the agreements signed were pacts for the formation of a joint oil shipping company and joint construction of petrochemical plants, as well as Venezuela's participation in the exploitation of Iran's South Pars gas field. Under the shipping agreement, PDV Marina, Petroleos de Venezuela's shipping subsidiary, and Iran's IRISL Group, plan to create a maritime oil transport firm that will enable Caracas to sell more than 500,000 bbl of crude in Europe and Asia.

The two sides also reaffirmed an earlier agreement to build a refinery in Syria, Iran's main ally in the region. An agreement to build the refinery was first signed in 2007 with Iran, Venezuela, and Malaysia as partners.

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