US oil giant Chevron pulled out of an investment bid for the South Pars gas fields in the Persian gulf, following "political pressure" from Washington, the daily Entekhab newspaper reported Wednesday.
"Chevron recently returned the documents of an invitation to tender for the last four geographical zones in the exploitation of the South Pars fields", which cover an area of 1,430 square miles (3,700 square kilometres) in the Iranian and Qatari territorial waters, the newspaper said.
Entekhab added that the fourth largest oil company in the world withdrew because of "political pressure" from Washington.
Chevron and 28 other foreign companies had been due to submit their proposals by the end of 2000.
"The authorities however decided to extend the deadline to January 2001, after several foreign companies asked for extra-time", said the newspaper, quoting senior Iranian oil officials.
Tehran is under a US embargo which bans investments exceeding 40 million dollars in Iran's oil industry.
In September, Iran invited bids for the development of the last zones in the South Pars gas project, including zones nine and ten, considered to be the biggest fields in the world.
Launched by French oil giant Total-Fina-Elf, the exploitation of the first three zones is already under way, in a $4.3-billion project which should include eight zones.
Iran has the world's second largest gas reserves after Russia, with 20,000 billion cubic meters. –AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )