Iran sets deadline for Total and Shell to finalize deals

Iran has set a June deadline as the last chance for Total and Royal Dutch Shell to arrive at a decision to finalize deals to develop two major oil and gas assets in the Persian Gulf after the two oil firms have been delaying investments in the region due to rising costs. Iran continues to face growing pressure from the West to abandon its nuclear rights, as it seeks to attract foreign investors to help it develop its huge gas and oil reserves. Earlier, Iran had urged Total and Shell to finalize their deals on the giant South Pars gas project by mid-2008 or lose the contracts. The two European players are likely to get replaced by Asian companies, with whom negotiations are underway.
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