The news confirms earlier reports in August that a French firm had expressed interest in capitalizing on the Forouzan oil field's gas potential, with a projected investment commitment of up to $1 billion.
The announced one million ton per annum (mtpa) floating facility would tap the associated gas capacity of the oil field. At present, the Forouzan platform flares off about 200 million cubic feet of gas per day.
Deputy Petroleum Minister was reported as saying that two Iranian companies and the unnamed French firm had held “final negotiations” on the terms of the project.
National Iranian Oil Company will handle the LNG marketing and sales, and other partners will be responsible for acquisition of the FLNG and LNG carriers required.
French oil major Total and engineering firm Technip have both held top-level talks in Iran this year. Technip provided engineering services for Shell's massive Prelude FLNG project and has an interest in expanding this line of business.
Previously, Iranian officials had announced a partnership with Belgium’s Exmar for an FLNG near the same oil field.
“If the two sides show flexibility and technical and economic negotiations bear results, [the Belgian side] will bring FLNG facilities to the Kharg region in not a distant time and will begin producing LNG for the first time,” said Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh on November 9.
Kharg Island was the site of an earlier proposal for a shore-based LNG plant for the Forouzan field.
Iran is the world's fourth largest producer and fourth largest consumer of natural gas, but at present it lacks functioning liquefaction facilities. Officials have suggested that Iran plans the export of up to 40 mtpa of LNG from five working LNG plants, mostly for sale to Europe. Iran's state-owned tanker firm NITC has said that it is actively pursuing acquisition of LNG carriers to ship the nation's product to market.