Iran to file complaint against Total
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov.11/ Trend F.Milad/
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 Iranian officials claim that for a decade the country 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.
Mansour Daftarian, head of the Iran Gas Institute which is drawing up the complaint, told the ISNA News Agency in May that the cost to Iran can't be underestimated and Total's actions in South Pars were undoubtedly intentional.
"A year and a half ago, Qatar celebrated its one billionth barrel of oil from Shaheen, South Pars' oil layer," said Mr. Daftarian.
It is while it has taken Iran a century to produce a billion barrels of oil from its Masjed Soleiman field.
Iran is trying to fast track the development of five of its South Pars phases to increase its production from the Persian Gulf field.
Total, the French energy company, has suspended investment in Iran over concerns about rising political risks.
Total has a memorandum of understanding with NIOC to develop phase 11 of South Pars, a giant Gulf project being developed in 25 stages. But in comments to the Financial Times newspaper in 2008, Christophe de Margerie, the chief executive of Total, said it was too risky for the company to invest in Iran in the current political environment.
Total, which helped develop an earlier phase of South Pars, was to develop phase 11 of Iran's giant South Pars gas field to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) alongside Malaysia's Petronas.
Iran has the world's second-largest reserves of natural gas.