Iran pours cold water on Total plan to develop its oil layer

Business Materials 23 April 2018 13:18 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, April 23
By Farhad Daneshvar – Trend:

Iran has decided to deny French Total from cooperating in a major project to produce ultra-light crude from the Middle Eastern nation's South Pars field, the world's largest gas field in the Persian Gulf shared between the Islamic Republic and Qatar.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has said that the development of South Pars oil layer will not be awarded to Total since the leading giant company has taken over Danish Maersk's oil division with which Iran was negotiating the project.

“The talks on the development of the oil layers of South Pars reached the final phase but Total took over the oil division of Maersk and we do not plan to grant Total with the development of the oil layers,” ISNA news agency quoted him as saying on the sidelines of a ceremony for signing a contract on delivering gas to Iran’s southeastern port city of Chabahar on April 23.

Last October Iranian sources suggested that Maersk Oil was in a strong position to win the contract on the oil layers of South Pars gas field and its acquisition by France's Total would not adversely affect the potential deal, as the Danish company was the sole foreign firm to have shown serious interest in developing the oil layer of South Pars.

The Marsk has been involved in the development of the extension of South Pars oil layer into Qatari waters known as Al Shaheen.

Qatar started crude oil production from the joint field over two decades ago while Iran tapped into the oil layer last March.

Total and Qatar Petroleum took over the operatorship of the giant Al-Shaheen offshore oil field for a period of 25 years beginning July 14, 2017.

According to Total, the field produces 300,000 barrels of oil per day. The concession will be operated by the North Oil Company (NOC), which was established in 2016 as a partnership between Total (30%) and Qatar Petroleum (70%).

Maersk Oil's acquisition by Total in a $7.45 billion deal last August and the French company's firm foothold there has obviously caused concerns in Tehran, blocking the European giants' way to reach the oil layer in southern Iran.