Iran says it expects France’s Total to finalize an agreement over the development of a key natural gas project in the country’s south in less than a month.
Amirhossein Zamaniniya, Iran’s deputy petroleum minister for international affairs and trading, was quoted by domestic media as saying that Total had been waiting to see whether there would be any “positive developments” in Washington toward the renewal of sanctions against Iran before proceeding with the development of South Pars Phase 11.
“Those developments took place and Total will continue negotiating with Iran toward a final agreement over the project,” Zamaniniya told Iran’s ISNA news agency.
“This will depend on how prepared Iran would be and how long it would take to write the text of the deal. I don’t think it would take longer than a month.”
Last November, Total signed a basic agreement, worth $4.8 billion to develop South Pars Phase 11 in cooperation with China’s CNPC and Iran’s Petropars.
Phase 11 aims to produce 1.8 billion cubic feet a day of gas for the national grid.
Total CEO and Chairman Patrick Pouyanné said in February that a final investment decision over the project hinges on whether the US would renew sanctions waivers against Iran or not.
Ali Kardor, the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said in March that Total would finalize South Pars Phase 11 agreement within weeks.
“The [French] company has already allocated $15 million to this project in accordance with the first phase of the contract,” Kardor was quoted as saying by local media.
The administration of US President Donald Trump announced last week that Iran had been complying with the terms of a crucial nuclear agreement it had sealed with the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany in 2015. It is therefore likely for Trump to renew this coming June a series of waivers to sanctions that bar investments by foreign companies in Iran economy among other restrictions.