Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh announced on Iranian TV that an unnamed French company wanted to buy associated gas from the offshore Forouzan platform, to be converted into LNG afterwards, reported Press TV.

Associated gas is normally burnt because the quantities are uneconomical, called flaring, which causes pollution and squanders a valuable source of natural gas that comes with regular oil production. Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum estimates that 189 mcf of associated gas is burnt off daily at the Forouzan platform alone.

According to Reuters foreign oil services companies have been scrambling to return to Iran with the final removal of sanctions, including Australia’s WorleyParsons (WOR.AX), Axens, South Korea’s Daelim, China’s Sinopec Engineering and France’s Technip (TECF.PA), although these companies have declined to discuss whether they are currently holding meetings in Iran.

Refinery upgrades are one of the points of attraction for these companies which have prior experience in Iran before sanctions were slapped on the country thanks to its nuclear programme.

“There is also great potential in the modernisation of existing plants for extraction and processing of raw materials and the infrastructure sector,” said Wolfgang Büchele, Chief Executive Officer of German gas and engineering company Linde (LING.DE).