The South Pars liquefied natural gas (LNG) project was to supply two LNG trains of about 4.5 million tonnes a year, with Petronas holding a 20 per cent stake along with National Iranian Oil Company (50 per cent) and France’s Total (30 per cent).

But according to Shana, an official Iranian news agency, Petronas chief executive officer (CEO) Hassan Marican is concerned about the viability of the facility due to inflation in the construction market.

The project has been criticised by US lawmakers and could be affected by UN sanctions over Iran’s nuclear programme.

In 2007, Total’s CEO Christophe de Margerie said costs at the field had doubled to more than $10bn since 2005, prompting the company to review its original exploration agreements (MEED 13:4:07).