French Energy Giant Drops Iran Gas Project

Bush victory as Total pulls investment in oil field development
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2008 11:32 AM CDT
French Energy Giant Drops Iran Gas Project
Chief Executive of French oil company Total SA Christophe de Margerie smiles during a press conference in Paris, Wednesday Feb. 13, 2008.   (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

(Newser) – French energy giant Total, the last major Western energy group that planned to invest in development of Iran's huge natural gas fields, is dropping out of the project, the Financial Times reports. The turnabout is a victory for the Bush administration's efforts to isolate Iran over its nuclear program; it's expected to delay Tehran's efforts to raise its gas production for at least a decade.

While Total had declared its intention to continue with the project as recently as Tuesday, Iran's provocative missile tests yesterday forced the decision, Total's CEO said. "Today we would be taking too much political risk to invest in Iran because people will say: ‘Total will do anything for money’." (Read more Total SA stories.)

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