Total cannot drop major gas deal under US pressure: Iran

TEHRAN: French energy giant Total cannot leave a major gas deal with the Islamic republic under the pretext of the US political pressures, Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said.
Total can only drop the deal if the United Nations Security Council imposes international sanctions against Tehran, Zanganeh said on Saturday on the sidelines of his meeting with visiting Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Alisher Sultanov, Xinhua news agency quoted Press TV as reporting.
Zanganeh said Iran has a valid legal contract with “Total”, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Iran’s Petropars.
In July, Iran and a consortium of the Chinese and French energy giants signed a multi-billion-dollar deal to develop Iran’s South Pars (SP11) gas field in the Persian Gulf.
According to Zanganeh, the contract for development of the gas field is worth $ 4.8 billion. The contract will be carried out in two phases with a total period of 20 years.
At each stage, 2.4 billion dollars of foreign fund will be allocated, the minister said, adding that Total will operate the SP11 project with a 50.1-per cent interest alongside CNPC with 30 per cent and Petropars with 19.9 per cent.
Iran expects to produce as much as 56 million cubic meters of natural gas per day from the field once it is in full swing, he said.
The Iranian minister’s remarks came as Total Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne recently said that US President Donald Trump’s new aggressive approach to Iran could kill the huge energy deal. — IANS