PARIS, Sept 27 Total (TOTF.PA) reiterated on
Thursday it was still in talks with Iran to carry out a
multibillion dollar gas project but added a decision on
investment was not in sight.
"We are still in talks as costs have spiralled," a Total
spokeswoman said. "We are not in a position to take a decision
on investment now," she added.
Iran's oil minister on Wednesday said the country would
carry out the project without Total if the French major bowed to
political pressure to steer clear of the Islamic Republic.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy called earlier this week
for tougher international sanctions against Iran's nuclear work
and warned Total and Gaz de France GAZ.PA to refrain from
investing in OPEC's second-biggest oil producer.
"We have no date as to when we will finish studying (the
costs)," the spokeswoman said. "And we don't comment on a
minister's comment," she added.
Pars LNG, Iran's first LNG export terminal, would be fed by
developing part of the giant South Pars gas field.
Iran said the project was worth $2 billion in 2004 when
Total agreed to the deal, but contruction costs have spiralled
throughout the energy sector since then. The terminal was due to
start in 2009 but the date has been pushed back to 2011.