Total denies Iran pull-out

10 July 2008
French oil major Total has denied claims it has pulled out of energy investments in Iran and says it is still considering developing a gas project in the South Pars gas field.

Total’s shares fell by almost 2 per cent in morning trading on the Euronext Paris stock exchange on 10 July following comments by Total chief executive Christophe de Margerie that the firm had pulled out of Iran.

However, a Total spokesman tells MEED the company’s position has not changed and it is still considering its options in the country.

Total is looking at developing a $10bn liquefied natural gas (LNG) project using feedstock from phase 11 of the South Pars field.

“We are not in a position today to take a decision on South Pars LNG because it would be too much risk,” the spokesman says. “This is the same message we have been saying for months.

“We will still keep our contracts in Iran, we are not turning our back on Iran and we want to keep relations with the NOC [National Oil Company] there.”

In May, the UK/Dutch Shell Group cancelled its involvement in another phase of the South Pars project due to pressure from the US, which remains concerned about Tehran’s nuclear ambitions (MEED 13:5:08).

Shell formally announced it was quitting phase 13 of the project but said it was considering developing phases 20 and 21 at a later date.

A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.

Get Notifications