Petropars says the deal will strengthen its financial capabilities in view of massive capital expenditure on large-scale projects such as the buy-back development of phases 6-8 on the South Pars gas development scheme. ‘We need huge amounts of capital for buy-back and other projects,’ Akbar Torkan, chairman and president of Petropars, told MEED on 14 January. ‘Capex [capital expenditure] for phases 6-8 alone will be about $2,000 million. NICO has the financial capacity to provide us with enough capital in the future.’

Additional financing of about $800 million will be required for phases 4-5, in which Petropars holds a 40 per cent stake, with operator Eniof Italy holding the remainder. NICO has already provided a significant share of funding to phase 1, the single-phase development carried out by Petropars on its own.