The report quoted minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari as saying that the rate quoted by Total to market liquefied natural gas (LNG) was high and, as a result the government may have to reconsider the feasibility of the deal.

The financial daily quoted Mr Nozari as saying: Total was supposed to buy 5.5 million tons of LNG products. We think this amount should be supplied to the market and not to Total.

Total’s chief executive, Christophe de Margerie, has said that the plan, valued at about $15 billion, has been put on hold, the Financial Times revealed.

Mr Margerie said: The estimated cost has doubled between the time we were negotiating the contract and now. So if we cannot solve this issue, we will be stuck.