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Shell, Repsol aim to leave Iran gas project

 

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Reuters: Shell, Repsol aim to leave Iran gas project: paper

Sat May 3, 2008 6:41am EDT

MADRID (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L: QuoteProfileResearch) and Spain’s Repsol (REP.MC: QuoteProfile,Research) are negotiating with the Iranian government to pull out of a $10 billion natural gas project due in part to U.S. pressure, Spanish newspaper Expansion reported on Saturday.

 

The companies want Iran to agree to drop their current development plans for block 14 of the South Pars field but to allow them to bid for other parts of the field in the future if the international political climate improves, Expansion said.

A Repsol spokeswoman declined to comment on the report, which said that Shell and Repsol were trying to help Iran find new partners for the project and that possibilities included Russia’s Gazprom (GAZP.MM: QuoteProfileResearch), Indian Oil Corp (IOC.BO: QuoteProfile,Research) and Chinese companies.

Shell and Repsol had planned to export South Pars gas via ship in liquefied form as part of the “Persian LNG project”. Now it is more likely the gas will supply the Iranian market or be exported by pipeline, Expansion said.

The United States discourages Western companies from investing in Iran, which it accuses of trying to develop nuclear weapons and which Iran denies.

(Reporting by Jason Webb)

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