Iran Berates Total for Gas Field Delays

Posted by Joseph Keefe

Iran's oil minister has criticised French oil company
Total for its decision to delay signing a contract to develop a
gas field in southern Iran, saying that the reasons given by
Total's chief executive were "unacceptable" to
Tehran.

Total was the first Western energy company to sign a major deal
with Tehran since the lifting of international sanctions with its
South Pars 11 project in the Gulf to develop a part of the
world's largest gas field that Iran shares with Qatar.

Total's chief executive, Patrick Pouyanne, said last week that it
aimed to make a final investment decision on the $2 billion
project by the summer, but the decision hinges on the renewal of
U.S. sanctions waivers. "I don't know why Total has said so,"
Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying by Mehr news agency on
Wednesday. "It's been included in the contract that we all follow
European Union's policies. Their comments are unacceptable," he
added. U.S. President Donald Trump has called into doubt the
Western powers' deal with Iran over its nuclear technology
development programme and, responding to an Iran's ballistic
missile test last month, imposed fresh sanctions on Tehran. The
South Pars 11 project aims to produce 1.8 billion cubic feet a
day of gas, equivalent to 370,000 barrels of oil. The produced
gas will be fed into Iran's gas network.

Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin

Feb 15, 2017

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