TEHRAN, Oct. 18 (Mehr News Agency) - Iran has started talks with foreign investors to participate in the development of phase 12 of the South Pars gas field after Austrian OMV decided to walk away from the project on financial grounds.
In April 2007, OMV signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Iranian Oil Company that envisaged OMV participating in Phase 12 and in a plant that would liquefy the field''s gas for export in LNG tankers, Gholamreza Manouchehri, the managing director of Petropars Company told the Mehr news agency on Sunday.
"Negotiations have been stalled due to the Austrian firm''s wavering on doing its obligations," Manouchehri noted.
Helmut Langanger, OMV exploration and production director, had previously said that the political environment and financial framework would have to be right before the company could proceed with its planned investment in Phase 12 of the giant South Pars offshore gas field.
OMV has resisted Iranian pressure to push ahead with investment in the gas project, but it is prepared to join as a partner rather than investor for the time being.
Langanger told Reuters in June there was a possibility that Iran could develop Phase 12 without OMV, if the company did not come on board in the next two to three years.
Other oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Spain''s Repsol and France''s Total have either pulled out of Iranian projects or been replaced as partners, after Iran became discouraged with their failure to proceed in line with the terms of the MOUs.
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