Baku, Azerbaijan, August 20
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said French energy giant Total has officially withdrawn from Phase 11 of South Pars, one of the country’s biggest gas projects.
“Total has officially quit its contract with Iran to develop Phase 11 of South Pars,” Zangeneh said on August 20, Fars news agency reported.
Total – with a leading share of 50.1 percent in the development of Phase 11 – announced two months ago that it was withdrawing from the project.
Stressing that the terms of the contract with China’s CNPC and Iran’s Petropars over the development of Phase 11 of South Pars had not changed, the minister said a new firm would take over a leading role held by Total in the project.
In July 2017, the NIOC (the National Iranian Oil Company) awarded the project to the trio through a contract worth around $4 billion.
CNPC has now a 30 percent stake, while PetroPars holds the remaining 19.9 percent.
The French energy company announced on May 16 that it may pull out of South Pars deal in light of a decision by US President Donald Trump to pull his country out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
The United States reimposed stiff economic sanctions on Iran on August 4, ratcheting up pressure on the Islamic Republic despite statements of deep dismay from European allies, three months after Trump pulled the US out of the nuclear deal.
A first set of reimposed US sanctions affect financial transactions that involve US dollars, Iran's automotive sector, the purchase of commercial planes and metals including gold.
A second batch of US sanctions targeting Iran's oil sector and central bank are to be reimposed in early November.
Trump warned that those who don't wind down their economic ties to Iran "risk severe consequences."