Tehran, Iran, June 17
By Mehdi Sepahvand – Trend:
A prospective oil contract between Iran and Total will be signed before the end of the current administration’s tenure, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said, SHANA news agency reported June 17.
Less than two months remain for the incumbent administration. Hassan Rouhani, who was re-elected in May, will be inaugurated for a new term on August 6.
The contract will cover the development of Phase 11 of South Pars gas field, the minister said.
Total is seeking a 50 percent stake in a $4 billion project in the field, the French energy firm said in a regulatory filing in May detailing talks held with Iranian officials on several projects in 2016.
Total signed a preliminary deal for the South Pars project last year, becoming the first Western oil major to sign an energy agreement after the European Union and the United States eased sanctions as part of a pact to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions.
If finalized, Total would operate the project with a 50.1 percent stake, China's CNPC would own 30 percent through one of its subsidiaries and Iran's Petropars would have 19.9 percent.
South Pars is part of a Persian Gulf reservoir that is one of the biggest gas fields in the world. But its development has been hobbled by years of Western sanctions imposed over what the West said was Tehran's bid for nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies.
The South Pars project is expected to have a production capacity of 370,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and the gas would be fed to the Iranian grid. It would require two offshore platforms and 30 wells.