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UpstreamOnline: Politics weighs on Persian LNG choice

By Upstream staff

Shell will take political issues into account when deciding whether to go ahead with the Persian liquefied natural gas project Iran, chief financial officer Peter Voser said today.

The Anglo-Dutch supermajor and Spain’s Repsol YPF have signed a preliminary deal to develop phases 13 and 14 of Iran’s South Pars gas field, despite Washington urging its allies not to invest in the Islamic Republic.

Voser told a news conference on the company’s earnings that the supermajor was working on technical and economic aspects of the project, which Tehran has valued at $10 billion.

“We will not take a final investment decision to move forward until all this prework has been satisfactorily completed,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

“Once we get to that point, we will take the economic, technical and also the political dimensions into account.”

He did not say when Shell would decide on the investment. In February, Shell boss Jeroen van der Veer said the assessment would be made in about a year.

The Persian LNG project would develop South Pars phases 13 and 14, build an 8 million tonnes per annum liquefied natural gas terminal and then convert the gas to liquid for export to world markets.

Western nations accuse Iran of seeking to build an atomic bomb, a charge Tehran denies, insisting it only wants to master nuclear technology so it can make electricity and save its huge oil and gas reserves for export.

Raising the pressure on Tehran, the US today designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction and its elite Qods force a supporter of terrorism.

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25 October 2007 14:12 GMT  | last updated: 25 October 2007 14:14 GMT

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