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EghtesadOnline: The Philippines' state oil company, PNOC, as part of a group of international oil and gas companies known as Pergas Consortium, is planning to build a liquefied natural gas plant in Iran in collaboration with the National Iranian Oil Company, director for Iran operations at Pergas said on Tuesday.

"PNOC is in negotiations with the NIOC on constructing an LNG plant with annual output capacity of 6 million tons," Masoud Besharati was quoted as saying by ILNA.

Pergas Consortium is made up of 15 international oil and gas companies operating in the engineering, procurement and construction, including Norway's AGR, OiLSERV, oilfield services provider, the UK's ByrneLooby, an engineering consultancy, PNOC and Sharif University of Technology.

Highlighting Manila's sustained efforts to do away with coal-fueled power plants and replace the environmentally-unfriendly feedstock with cleaner energy sources, namely LNG, Besharati added that Philippine energy officials believe that Iran can provide their power plants with the much-needed LNG as it has the world's largest gas field -- South Pars Gas Field off the Persian Gulf, according to Financial Tribune.

On PNOC's interest in joint oil and gas ventures with Iran, the official said that the state company,  a former customer of crude oil from NIOC, is planning to play a more active role in Iran's upstream oil and liquefied gas ventures as the energy-rich country has long-term plans to increase hydrocarbon exports.

"PNOC is in negotiations with NIOC to resume crude imports," Besharati said, noting that there are plans to buy 130,000 barrels of oil per day, or nearly 4 million barrels per month, from the NIOC.

Reportedly, China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation is constructing a refinery in the Philippines with a processing capacity of 400,000 barrels per day and the PNOC is eying Iranian oil supplies to meet part of the demand.

Regarding PNOC negotiations with other oil giants, Besharati said the company has already signed a contract with Russia's energy company Rosneft to import 4 million barrels of oil a month and talks are underway with Royal Dutch Shell Plc and NIOC to provide rest of the feedstock.

Referring to a memorandum of understanding signed between Pergas and the National Iranian South Oil Company in November to study two oilfields in the southern province of Khuzestan, he said Pergas should partner with an Iranian exploration and production company should it win the fields' development rights. About concerns that Tehran may be hit with new economic sanctions from the Trump administration, Besharati said the global economic environment is positive at the moment, yet the future is unpredictable.

"Even if sanctions snap back, Pergas will circumvent them as it is a flexible company with different investors all over the world, which can adapt themselves to new international conditions," he said, adding that the company had played a role in Iran's oil projects during the difficult sanctions era.

NIOC Iran gas Iran LNG Pergas Consortium PNOC Iran LNG project Masoud Besharati