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5/22/2016, 3:48 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Iran tanks first LNG shipment for Africa

Iranian gas companies have prepared the first shipment of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) for three African countries, after a hiatus caused by 5-year-long international sanctions.

The National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) said it has begun shipping surplus of natural gas in the form of LNG to Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania. Company's export director Esmaeel Hasham Firouz said to Mehr news agency the shipments are run in the LNG containers with ISO standards.

Iranian companies have exported 127 thousand tons of LNG in 2015, mainly to Pakistan and Afghanistan, its most important buyers at the moment. The figure is almost certain to rise this year, as the country is slowly regaining its presence in the oil and gas markets around the world.

Meanwhile, the National Iranian Gas Exports Company (NIGEC) has been in negotiations with companies in several countries to find partners for development of its LNG industry, following the 21st Oil and Gas International Exhibition Iran in the beginning of May (pictured). Iran has a natural capacity to produce as much as 40 million metric tons of LNG every year.

Previously, such projects have been awarded to Spain's Repsol, UK's Royal Dutch Shell and France's Total, but the companies abandoned them with the introduction of the international sanctions for alleged nuclear weapons programme.

With world's second largest proven natural reserves of natural gas, the first one being Russia, Iran has a strong potential, but it will take some time before facilities are built – or rebuilt – to return even to previous levels of production.

International prices of natural gas were mostly stable in May, following a recovery from global energy crash earlier in the year. Natural gas last traded 0.90% higher at $29.30 at ICE Europe on Friday's close.

Image: EPA / Abedin Taherkenareh

Breaking the News / ZR