October 10, 2009

Gas giant, Total resumes talks with Iran

Press TV - October 10, 2009 10:39:22 GMT

French gas giant, Total, has resumed its talks with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) on participating in Iran's South Pars gas field project.

The talks commenced in Tehran on Saturday after months of delay. According to Iranian Mehr news agency, the French company's representatives announced Total's readiness to construct a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant in the gas field.

The report did not reveal the details of the talks.

Following long delays from Total, Iran set a deadline for the company to reevaluate negotiations for the venture. When the company failed to respond, Tehran signed a $4.7 billion deal with China in June.

Total CEO, Christophe de Margerie recently described the talks with Iran as being "at a standstill," but said there was still a possibility for cooperation.

The South Pars gas field is being jointly developed by Iran and Qatar. The Iranian share of the field is about 14 trillion cubic meters of gas, or about eight percent of the total world reserves, and more than 18 billion barrels of liquefied natural gas resources.

NIOC Head Seyfollah Jashnsaz also said that the door is open for the French company to participate in the project.

Jashnsaz mentioned, however, that Total must first secure the consent of China's CNPC, which became Iran's main overseas partner when Total fell behind on its commitments due to political pressure from Washington.

"Because of Total's procrastination, the contract for the upstream sector was signed with the Chinese company and this company is considered to be the operator of this project," Jashnsaz said.

The executive added that Iran is interested in developing ties with countries throughout the world, but "regarding its petroleum industries, it will not keep waiting for any company."

Iran has the second largest gas reserves in the world after Russia and the second largest petroleum reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia.

No comments:

Post a Comment