Iran plans to build several mini liquefied natural gas (LNG) production units in, an official with the National Iranian Gas Company said on Wednesday.
The move aims at transporting gas to the provinces which are far from gas sources, the IRNA News Agency quoted Saeed Pakseresht as saying.
Constructing mini LNG units in different provinces will reduce Iran's costs to transport gas to all parts of the country, he explained.
Northen province of Mazandaran, western province of Kermanshah, and south-western province of Ilam are the three nominated location for constructing the first unit, Pakseresht said.
He went on to note that Ilam province will be more likely to be chosen.
Iran's first mini LNG production unit will have the capacity to produce 150 tons per day, he explained.
In the fourth 5-Year National Develop Plan (2005-2009), the country aimed to produce 70 million tons of LNG from the South Pars, North Pars, Ferdosi and Golshan gas fields by launching six LNG production facilities.
After cancelling LNG project contracts with French Total, Spanish Repsol, Dutch-British Shell and Malaysian Petronas until 2008, Iran practically lost as much as 27 million tons of its LNG production capacity.
After that in 2008, Iran signed $25 billion worth of contracts to develop its gas fields and produce LNG with the Chinese SINOC group, Chinese CEPA, Polish state-owned gas company (PGNiG) and Malaysian Petrofield LNG Co.
The value of Iran's contracts with PGNiG and Petrofield were respectively about $2 billion and $14-16 billion. Currently all these contracts have been suspended.
During the past few years, LNG export amount has increased rapidly.
According to BP annual statistics published in June, about one third of the world's 1025 bcm of total dealt gas in 2011 was LNG, amounting to 330.8 bcm, while LNG shipments grew by 10.1 percent compared to 2010.
Qatar, Iran's southern neighbour and partner in the South Pars gas field, with thanks to ExxonMobil, Total, Mitsui, Marubeni, ConocoPhillips and Shell companies has become the world's biggest LNG producer with 77 million tons (102 billion cubic meters) of LNG output annually./Trend/