Iran warns foreign firms over delays in South Pars gas field developments

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Nicosia, April 11 (ANI) - - In the face of interminable problems that have beset Iranian efforts to develop the South Pars gas field, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has warned Royal Dutch Shell and Spanish oil firm Repsol to submit their plans of action for the South Pars gas field and the Persian LNG projects within 45 days, otherwise they will be replaced by other qualified companies.

If the deal collapses it would be a major setback to Tehran's plans to become a major source of gas supply.

NIOC Managing Director Seyfollah Jashnsaz has said that Royal Dutch Shell and Repsol signed in 2007 a 10 billion dollar deal with NIOC to develop phases 13 and 14 of the South Pars field, but have still not fulfilled their contractual obligations.

He also mentioned that French firm Total, which also signed a memorandum of understanding with NIOC to develop South Pars Phase 11, was wasting time, so NIOC would be shortly negotiating with a Chinese firm over the project.

Total officials claimed that the Iranian government was unwilling to meet its share of spiraling development costs for Phase 11 of the South Pars project .

Jashnsaz also expressed appreciation for the work of the Iranian company Petropars in developing South Pars Phase 12 and implementing the Iran LNG project and stated that the projects are well underway.

The South Pars/North Dome gas field is the world's largest gas field, covering an area of 9,700 square kilometers in the Persian Gulf, with 3,700 square kilometers in Iranian territorial waters. South Pars is the Iranian part of the giant gas structure which in neighbouring Qatar is known as the North Dome field. In place volumes of gas are estimated around 51 trillion cubic meters gas in place and some 50 million barrels of condensate in place. By Iaonnis Solomou (ANI)

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