CNPC temporarily operating Iran's major gas project - NIOC
Tehran, Iran, Oct. 17
Ali Kardor, the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said China's state-owned CNPC has become the operator of Phase 11 of South Pars gas field.
“Total has submitted engineering documents to CNPC and the Chinese giant will be the operator of the project,” Kardor told ILNA on October 17.
CNPC will be the operator for the development of Phase 11 for the time being, he added, noting, "We should wait and see if the Chinese firm can finance the project and procure its equipment."
CNPC will reportedly shoulder 80 percent of the cost of the project and Iran’s Petropars will hold the remaining 20 percent.
In July 2017, the NIOC awarded the project to a consortium comprising Total (50.1 percent), China’s CNPC (30 percent) and Iran’s Petropars (19.9 percent) through a contract worth around $4 billion.
However, when the US announced that it would restore sanctions against Iran, the French major said it will withdraw from Phase 11 to avoid American punitive measures.
Total signed up to develop the same project back in 2009 but was forced to abandon its projects in Iran in 2012 when France joined a US-led campaign to put sanctions, including an oil embargo, against the country.
The objective of the Phase 11 was to send a daily of above 56 million cubic meters of natural gas into Iran’s domestic grid from 2021.
In early August, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order which made the sanctions against Iran effective.
The sanctions in the first wave prevent Iran’s access to the US dollar among other restrictions. The second wave that would hit in November will ban investments in Iran’s oil and gas projects.