Iran to issue $4.2 billion bonds for gas projects


Iran to issue $4.2 billion bonds for gas projects

TEHRAN - Iran's Pars Oil and Gas Co plans to issue rial- and U.S. dollar-denominated bonds worth 52 trillion rials ($4.2 billion) by March 2013 to accelerate implementation of South Pars projects.

The development of Iran's South Pars gas field needs huge investment, the minister of petroleum, Rostam Qassemi, said in an appeal to the Iranian parliament for help, Shana reported.

POGC's financial manager Toraj Jahan Ara told Shana that there would be $1 billion of dollar-denominated bonds, with the rest rial-denominated. The bonds will be issued in three phases; Bank Mellat would begin offering 5 trillion rials of rial-denominated bonds this week.

"Dollar denominated bonds will make up one billion of them while the rest will be in rial denominated bonds," he said.

Jahan Ara said that Central Bank of Iran (CBI) last year agreed with issuance of 15 thousand billion rial denominated bonds all of them were sold with 20 percent interest rate.

He stated that the company is subject to CBI policies with regard to issuance of bonds, adding South Pars gas field bonds would be issued in three phases after getting related permissions from CBI.

Bonds are among the effective financial instruments for providing oil industry's projects' financial needs.

According to POGC's managers, issuance of rial denominated bonds could be profitable even if its profit rate are raised to 35 percent which is the result of good return of money invested in South Pars gas field projects.

So far, CBI has given permission for issuance of 5.000 billion rial denominated bonds whose issuance starts as of tomorrow for six working days across the country by Bank Mellat.

Earlier managing director of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Ahmad Qalebani, had said a remarkable part of NIOC's current year budget, about 22 billion dollars, will be allocated to projects are being implemented by POGC.

Last year 20 billion dollars of credit was allocated to South Pars gas field projects of which 14 billion dollars were absorbed.

Iran sits on some of the world's largest gas reserves, nearly half of which lie in the world's largest gas field that is not associated with oil, which it shares with Qatar.

Energy experts say that Iran has 137.6 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, and 29.61 trillion cubic meters of proven gas reserves. Last June, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) had announced discovery of another large deposit of crude oil and natural gas in the South Pars field in the Persian Gulf. It was estimated that the discovery would increase Iran's crude and gas condensate reserves by one billion barrels.

The South Pars gas field is located in the Persian Gulf, north of Iran's maritime border with Qatar. The field's reserves are estimated at 14 trillion cubic meters of gas and 18 billion barrels of gas condensates


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