After a recent report had cited Repsol YFP SA and Royal Dutch Shell as withdrawing from part of the Persian LNG project, Repsol has indicated that it intends to make a final decision on its investment in the project in 2009.

Speaking to reporters after the Spanish-Argentine oil and gas group’s two-day top executive convention, Chairman Antoni Brufau insisted that Repsol does not plan to abandon the project and said, “This is absolutely not the case.”

The Financial Times had reportedly said that Repsol and Shell are withdrawing from part of the project, the $10bn-plus development of phase 13 of Iran’s huge South Pars gas field. Both companies could still participate in other phases, the newspaper added.

Brufau however, said the oil majors are currently in negotiations with the Iranian government to exchange their stakes in phase 13 for a share of another bloc, possibly either 20 or 21.

The Persian LNG project will be ‘enormously important’ if it comes to fruition, he added.