“Following the installation of Salman field’s platform, the Crescent [Petroleum] deal will take effect in the first half of next [Iranian] year [starting late March],” said IOOC managing director Mahmud Zirakchianzadeh in comments to the local press on December 4.

Sharjah-based Crescent signed a gas import deal with Iran in 2004, but construction delays and the company’s refusal to pay a higher price for the gas meant the project has been delayed.

Under the original proposals, 600 million cubic feet a day of gas will be supplied from Iran’s Salman field to Crescent, the major shareholder in Dana Gas, which operates a separate company with Dana to import the fuel.

It is unclear whether the same amounts will be imported if or when operations begin next year or whether a new price has been agreed.

“We have been assured by the Iranians that the last element of the project, which is the main production platform, will be completed soon and production will start early in 2008,” said Mohammad Makkawi, project director for Crescent Petroleum in October.

“All the drilling has been completed on the Iranian side, the pipeline has been completed all the way to our platform in the UAE, so we are hopeful this time it will be correct,” added Makkawi (MEED 26:10:07).