(Adds Exmar comment on parallel talks, no income from vessel expected until mid-2018)
OSLO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Belgium’s Exmar is in negotiations for the use of its floating liquefied natural gas production facility, Caribbean FLNG (CFLNG), for an Iranian export project, the company told Reuters on Thursday.
The barge-based liquefaction facility, delivered to Exmar earlier this year, was initially destined to go to Colombia, but remains unemployed after its contract was terminated.
The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said in a statement on its website it would supply natural gas for the project, led by Norway’s IFLNG, and that it expected to use the Caribbean FLNG vessel.
The chairman of IFLNG, Gerhard Ludvigsen, confirmed the plans in an email to Reuters.
Exmar said a deal to use its vessels was the subject of ongoing talks.
“We are not denying, but there is no deal yet, we are still negotiating,” Exmar’s spokesman said.
Exmar said in its third-quarter results statement on Thursday that several negotiations for the employment of the Caribbean FLNG facility were progressing in parallel.
“No income is expected from the Caribbean FLNG before the end of 2018,” it said.
Caribbean FLNG has a capacity to produce around 0.5 million tonnes of LNG per year, while the NIOC said the 20-year deal was to supply the facility with 2.3 cubic metres of gas per day.
NIOC said the deal was the fastest way for Iran to join the global LNG market.
The only operational FLNG project launched in Malaysia last year but another one in Cameroon is due to start later this year.
Shell’s Prelude FLNG, the world’s largest project to liquefy natural gas on a ship, is expected to start production off Australia’s cost in 2018. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi in Ankara and Oleg Vukmanovic in London, editing by David Evans)