Total Exit from Iran

Via The New York Times, news that Total, the French oil giant, has decided to back away from planned investments in Iran because of political uncertainty.  As the article notes:

“…Total’s withdrawal from the country, including a planned huge gas project in the South Pars gas field, makes it the last major Western oil company to give up on Iran amid pressure from Washington to stop doing business with Tehran.

The United States, Israel and other Western countries say Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, but Iran says the program is for civilian purposes.

“We think that under current conditions it is not possible in Iran just now,” said Patricia Marie, a spokeswoman for Total. But she said Total took a long-term view of the country’s strategic importance to its business. “We are still interested in Iran.”

The news was first reported Thursday in The Financial Times, which quoted the Total chief executive, Christophe de Margerie, as saying: “Today we would be taking too much political risk to invest in Iran because people will say: ‘Total will do anything for money.’ ”

Ms. Marie said that to her knowledge there was no pressure on Total from the French government or from Washington to end its business in Iran.

…Ms. Marie said Total would seek to return to Iran when tensions eased, though she said she could offer no timetable. “National Iranian Oil Company is a long-term partner of Total in Iran,” she said. “Our strategy has not changed.”

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 12th, 2008 at 12:13 am and is filed under Iran, Total.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

Comments are closed.

Wildcats & Black Sheep is a personal interest blog dedicated to the identification and evaluation of maverick investment opportunities arising in frontier - and, what some may consider to be, “rogue” or “black sheep” - markets around the world.

Focusing primarily on The New Seven Sisters - the largely state owned petroleum companies from the emerging world that have become key players in the oil & gas industry as identified by Carola Hoyos, Chief Energy Correspondent for The Financial Times - but spanning other nascent opportunities around the globe that may hold potential in the years ahead, Wildcats & Black Sheep is a place for the adventurous to contemplate & evaluate the emerging markets of tomorrow.