Monday, December 6, 2010

Iran helping Venezuela to supply gas to Cuba

Iran helping Venezuela to supply gas to Cuba

Under a recently signed letter of intent, Iran LNG Co. commits to
continuing construction of a gas liquefaction plant in Venezuela, which,
in turn, will allow Cuba to source gas from the South American country.
In a previous story we erroneously reported that Iran is planning to
directly export LNG to Cuba. This updated story sets the record
straight. We regret the error.

Iran is continuing to help Venezuela export liquefied natural gas to
Argentina and Cuba, Iran's Mehr news agency reported, citing the
managing director of Iran LNG Company.

The Mehr report said Iran LNG Co.-led construction of what is apparently
the first train of a two-train, 10 million-ton LNG plant in Venezuela is
40 percent complete. The facility will allow Venezuela to supply gas to
Argentina and Cuba.

Venezuela has long-term agreements to supply both Latin American
countries with natural gas beginning in 2013, according to Mehr.

According to LNG World News, under a letter of intent signed with
Venezuela in October, the Iranian state company commits to front-end
engineering and design of what is apparently the second, 5 million-ton
train of the 10 million-ton liquefaction plant.

Neither Iran LNG Co. nor Venezuelan oil and gas company PdVSA responded
to inquiries by Cuba Standard.

In April 2009, Iran LNG signed an agreement to begin research on an $8
billion, 10-million ton LNG plant in Venezuela. The plant was planned to
begin operating in 2014. However, according to previous press reports,
construction has been slow, due to financing problems.

On the Cuban side, a gas project is reportedly moving ahead.
Cuvenpetrol, a joint venture of the Venezuelan and Cuban state oil
companies, agreed this year to build a $400 million, 2-million ton
regasification plant at the Port of Cienfuegos in Cuba. A subsidiary of
Chinese state oil company CNPC will build the complex.

Most of the gas will be used in Cuban power plants. Unión Nacional
Eléctrica is currently converting at least three thermoelectric power
plants to gas.

In the long-term Cuba plans to fuel its power plants with domestically
produced natural gas. In the meantime, Cuba will source the fuel from
Venezuela, and possibly Trinidad and Tobago, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea,
Algeria and Angola.

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