Iran dismisses Total from South Pars project
Tehran, December 5, 2009
Iran has dismissed France's Total from investing in development of phase 11 of the country's South Pars gas field, state television reported on Saturday.
"Total has been dismissed from investing in the project to develop the phase 11," Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, deputy head of National Iranian Oil Company, told state television. A Total spokeswoman in Paris declined to comment.
Total had a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to develop Phase 11 but the project was overshadowed by haggling over contract terms.
In June, the official Iranian news agency IRNA said Tehran had signed a $4.7 billion contract with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to help develop phase 11 of South Pars, replacing Total which it had accused of delays.
But later Iran said it had resumed talks about the French energy firm's participation in phase 11 after a gap of several months.
Iran has the world's second largest gas reserves, almost 16 per cent of the world's total, but currently has no major net exports partly because U.S. and UN sanctions have deterred investment by Western firms with expertise and technology.
The South Pars reservoir is shared by Iran and Qatar. The Iranian part is divided into 24 phases.-Reuters