Signs have emerged that France’s Total has already set in motion its plans to develop Iran’s energy projects – what could embolden other global giants that are still uncertain about the prospects for making investments in the country.
A top official from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) told the domestic media that Total has officially started the development of Phase 11 of Iran’s South Pars natural gas zone – a major project which it will develop together with Iran’s Petropars and China’s CNPC.
The three signed a Heads of Agreement (HOA) with the NIOC last November to invest $4.8 billion in the project – what was seen at the time as the biggest contract that the Islamic Republic had awarded for an industrial project after the lifting of the sanctions in early 2016.
Gholam-Reza Manouchehri, NIOC’s deputy for development and engineering affairs, told IRNA that the French giant was at the same time negotiating with Iran over cooperating in providing a chain of oil sector engineering services.
Manouchehri added that those services included the construction of equipment, drilling operations as well as downstream and upstream activities.
The official further emphasized that Iran wanted to use the help of French companies – including Total – to promote its technical abilities in the oil industry.
He added that the NIOC had to the same effect negotiated with certain French companies that had accompanied the country’s Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault during his stay in Tehran from Monday to Wednesday.
- TOTAL PETCHEM PROJECT
On the same front, Marziyeh Shahdaei, the managing director of the National Petrochemical Company of Iran (NPC), told reporters that technical talks with Total have started over the development of a petrochemical plant in Iran’s southern energy zone of Assalouyeh.
Shahdaei was quoted by IRNA as saying that the project will involve the production of several strategic products such as olefin and polymer. However, she emphasized the details of the project still needed to be worked out by both sides.