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Sun 1 Oct 2006 12:00 AM

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Total, Japan investing in Iran oil field

Total has joined up with Iran’s National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and a consortium of Japanese firms led by Inpex to develop Iran’s giant Azadegan oil fields, an Iranian official said last month.

“It’s finalised—Total is joining the process with anywhere from a 12% to 15% stake in the project,” he told Dow Jones Newswires on the sidelines of an industry event.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity.

“The deal has been finalised with the respective oil companies and now they just have to ratify it between Japan and Iran,” he said.

Total has declined to comment on the deal.

The official also added that the Japanese consortium and NIOC, had agreed to increase investment in the project to US $1.943 billion from $1.026 billion.

Disagreement over spending had stalled progress on the deal since it was signed in 2004.

The news that Total is coming onboard for the giant project will not go down well in Washington, where the United States continues to push for sanctions on Iran over its atomic plans after it failed to meet another UN deadline to stop nuclear work.

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