Iran Taps Local Firms to Develop Giant Gas Field
The Wall Street Journal / By BENOIT FAUCON
Iran on Tuesday gave $21 billion in contracts to domestic companies—including one group tied to the Revolutionary Guards— to develop a giant gas field after failing to sign with Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Repsol YPF SA.

Iran said the deals proved it can shrug off international pressure over its controversial nuclear program after the United Nations agreed new sanctions. But experts doubt the domestic companies will be able to deliver the projects without the help of foreign majors.

Contracts to develop six phases of the South Pars gas field were signed Tuesday in the presence of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said a spokesman for the Pars Oil and Gas Co., or POGC, which oversees the development. The spokesman said contracts to develop phases 13 and 14, for which Shell and Repsol had been in talks, were given to Iranian companies.

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