Total shadow over Iran-Maersk talks on South Pars oil layer

Business Materials 12 September 2017 12:11 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 12

By Fatih Karimov– Trend:

Iran has decided to continue negotiations with Maersk Group for the second phase of the South Pars oil layer development project, despite serious concerns over the recent Total’s decision to purchase the Danish firm’s Oil division.

Last month Maersk agreed to sell its oil unit to Total in $7.45 billion. The deal is expected to be concluded in the first quarter of 2018.

In Iran, the deal has raised serious concerns, because Total is operator of South Pars oil layer in Iran’s rival side, Qatar.

The South Pars field, shared between Iran and Qatar contains 40 trillion cubic meters of recoverable gas and 50 billion barrels of gas condensate reserves.

A third of field is locate in Iranian waters, containing an oil layer with 14 billion barrels of in-situ reserves.

Maersk was major contractor on the Qatari side of oil layers of South Pars and got replaced by French Total last year.

Iran recently started production of 25,000 barrels per day ‎of crude oil from offshore South Pars gas field’s oil layer and started talks with Maersk for second phase of the layer development project, in order to increase the output level to 54,000 b/d.

After announcement of Total-Maersk deal, Iran’s oil minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh expressed concern over that and named Brazilian Petrobras, Italian Eni, Royal Dutch Shell and Malaysian Petronas as companies that the oil ministry plans to invite for talks over the second phase development project.

However he underlined that Maersk has good experience in the field and talks will be continue with the company.

Director of Integrated Planning and Director at National Iranian Oil Company, Karim Zobeidi told ISNA Sept. 12 that Iran continues talks with Maersk.

He added that Iran must consider the necessary predictions and steps, given the fact that Total is operating on the opposite side of the joint field.

Zobeidi confirmed that Pars Oil & Gas Company, the contractor of the project has started talks with other foreign oil firms as well.

No firm has definitely stated its readiness to participate in the project yet, he added.