French energy giant withdraws from gas investment in Iran
French energy company Total has withdrawn from investing in Iran because of the growing political risk of doing so, its chief executive said according to a report Thursday.
Christophe de Margerie told the Financial Times in London in an interview that plans to develop the huge South Pars gas field would not go ahead because it was "too politically risky."
Analysts said Total's move will be a big blow to the Iranian energy industry, according to the Financial Times, reported dpa.
It means that Iran was now unlikely to increase its gas exports until late into the next decade.
"Today we would be taking too much political risk to invest in Iran because people will say: 'Total will do anything for money,'" de Margerie said.
Total was the last major Western energy group to have seriously considered investing in the country's huge gas reserves.
It was also one of the few companies in the world to have the technology needed to exploit Iran's huge, but untapped, gas reserves, the report said.