Statoil on 3 December confirmed that it had submitted a buy-back offer for phases 9 and 10, but declined to comment further on its participation. The company is the only one of the three consortia bidding for the estimated $2,000 million contract to have proposed a buy-back deal. Statoil’s competitors are bidding on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis with their own financing proposals.

The bidding consortia are South Korea’s LG Engineering & Construction, with the Iranian Offshore Engineering & Construction Companyand the local Oil Industries Engineering & Construction; and France’s Technip, with Sunfire Engineering & Management– a group of local companies.

Phases 9 and 10 of the 25-phase South Pars development will produce 2,000 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas for domestic use, and condensate and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for export.

Statoil, which opened an office in Tehran at the end of November, is also understood to have expressed interest in taking stakes in phases 11 and 12 of the scheme. France’s TotalFinaElf, Italy’s Eni, the UK’s BPand LG are all bidding for the buy-back contract to produce 80,000 barrels a day of condensate and 2,000 million cf/d of sour gas.

Awards for phases 9-12 are expected to take place before the end of the Iranian year in March, allowing POGC to start tendering some of the remaining 13 phases next year. Full development of the South Pars scheme is planned to be completed by about 2023.