Azerbaijan, Baku, May 15/Trend M. Moezzi
Iran is preparing a complaint against the French oil giant Total for a decade long delay in exploiting the South Pars field's biggest gas layer in the Persian Gulf.
The cost to Iran can't be underestimated and Total's actions in South Pars were undoubtedly intentional, said Mansour Daftarian, head of the Iran Gas Institute which is drawing up the complaint, the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reports.
For a decade Iran has been trying to exploit South Pars' biggest gas layer and has failed because Total's plan for the project was incomplete.
As Iran's progress has been delayed, Qatar which shares South Pars with Iran, has gone from producing 500,000 barrels of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to five million barrels in five years.
A year and a half ago, Qatar celebrated its one billionth barrel of oil from Shaheen, South Pars' oil layer, said Mr. Daftarian. It has taken Iran a century to produce a billion barrels of oil from its Masjed Soleiman field.
Calling the situation extremely "tragic" the Gas Institute head said while Iran fought a war with Iraq to save its borders, it's losing billions of dollars in underground resources as Qatar speeds ahead with developing South Pars.
Iran is trying to fast track the development of five of its South Pars phases to increase its production from the Persian Gulf field.