Total has not officially quit Iran gas project: MP
Tehran, Iran, June 11
By A. Shirazi - Trend:
An Iranian lawmaker said Total has not officially pulled out of a multibillion-dollar gas project in Iran, adding it is in negotiations to secure a waiver from US sanctions.
“Based on the information that we have at present, Total has not officially left Iran and is still in talks [to get a waiver from the US],” Behrouz Nemati, spokesperson of Iranian Parliament Presiding Board, told Mehr news agency on June 11.
Total signed a contract in 2017 to develop Phase 11 of Iran’s South Pars field with an initial investment of $1 billion.
Recently, the French giant said it might quit the project in light of a decision by US President Donald Trump to pull his country out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
In late May, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said the French energy giant had a time limit of 60 days to negotiate with the US about its deal on the development of Iran’s South Pars gas field.
Nemati said Total must pay Iran compensation if it fails to secure a waiver from the US sanctions and return to Iran before the deadline.
He added that if the US government does not agree with Total’s remaining in the deal, Iran would replace the company with China National Petroleum Company (CNPC).
According to the agreement, CNPC could take over Total’s 50.1 percent stake and become operator of the project if Total withdraws from Iran.
CNPC has now a 30 percent stake, while PetroPars holds the remaining 19.9 percent.
Total faces losses of several tens of millions of dollars if it pulls out of the project.