July 16, 2008

Total to Remain Committed to Iran Projects: Iranian National Oil Company

Total to remain committed to Iran projects: Iranian national oil company

TEHRAN, July 15 (Xinhua) -- National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) on Tuesday rejected reports about French energy giant Total's withdrawal from the nation's South Pars gas deal, saying it has officially announced that it would carry out its commitments in Iran's oil industry.

"Total had been previously active in Iran's oil industry and promised to participate in the development of Phase 11 of the South Pars gas field," an NIOC official was quoted as saying by the English-language satellite channel Press TV.

Total reportedly announced last week the company's withdrawal from a multi-billion dollar deal to develop Phase 11 of Iran's South Pars gas field, saying it found further investments in Iran too risky.

Later on Saturday, the group said Iran is one of the most important countries for the world's energy market and expressed Total's interest in participating in future projects pertaining to the development th South Pars gas field.

The South Pars field has around 14 trillion cubic meters of gas, which accounts for about 8 percent of the world gas reserves.

Iran has the world's second largest proven oil reserves and is the number four crude producer and the second in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

It also has the second biggest proven global gas reserves after Russia but so far has played only a minor role in the gas export market.

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