TotalFinaElf Puts Carina Gas Project on Hold

TotalFinaElf has put development of its Carina and Aries natural gas project off the southern coast of Argentina on hold for at least a year. "The onshore part and the drilling have been suspended," said a spokesperson for TotatFinaElf. "We are going to continue with the offshore part as we have already started installation work on the two platforms and pipelines," the spokesperson said.

TotalFinaElf's unit Total Austral is the project's operator. Austral and Wintershall both own 37.5 percent of the development and Pan American Energy holds the remaining 25 percent.

The $400 million development was due to come on stream in the second half of 2003. Gas production was expected to reach 12 million cubic meters a day.