TEHRAN: Iran has given Royal Dutch Shell and Repsol one week to decide on their involvement in the South Pars gas field, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Monday.
Iran says both the Anglo-Dutch Shell and Spain’s Repsol have procrastinated on finalizing their involvement in the field. It has set similar deadlines in the past as a way of pressuring foreign investors.
Ali Vakili, managing director of the Pars Oil and Gas Company (POGC), was also quoted as saying a deadline for Turkey to clarify its involvement in developing three phases of the field had passed.
"We will not delay the development of South Pars phases waiting for foreign companies," Vakili told Mehr.
Many foreign countries are investing in the field, which Iran shares with Qatar, but US and UN sanctions have caused Western companies to treat Iran with caution, sometimes to the benefit of operators from other parts of the world.
China’s National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) clinched a $4.7 billion deal to develop part of South Pars, supplanting Total as lead partner in the project after the French firm delayed its investment decision under political pressure.
Iran has the world’s second largest gas reserves but has no major net exports, partly because sanctions have deterred investment by Western firms.
Vakili told the Iranian oil ministry website SHANA that POGC planned to issue bonds worth 3 billion euros and rial-denominated bonds worth around $3 billion to help finance development at South Pars.