Iran to sign new gas deal with To­tal

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - Ra­nia El Ga­mal

IRAN plans to sign a new con­tract to de­velop its gi­ant South Pars gas field with France’s To­tal and China’s CNPC to­day, the first ma­jor Western en­ergy in­vest­ment since sanc­tions against Tehran were lifted, an Ira­nian oil min­istry of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day.

A spokesman for To­tal con­firmed the com­pany will sign the con­tract to pro­duce gas for the Ira­nian mar­ket from 2021, adding that the 20-year deal will be the first Ira­nian Petroleum Con­tract (IPC) signed in Iran.

To­tal holds a 50.1 per­cent in­ter­est in the South Pars pro­ject, with state-owned China Na­tional Petroleum Cor­po­ra­tion own­ing 30 per­cent and Iran’s Petropars 19.9 per­cent.

The off­shore field was first de­vel­oped in the 1990s and To­tal was one of the big­gest in­vestors in Iran, un­til the in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions were im­posed in 2006 over sus­pi­cions that Tehran was try­ing to de­velop nu­clear arms.

Cer­e­mony

To­tal has de­cided to re­turn and de­velop Phase 11 of the South Pars pro­ject, which will cost up to $5 bil­lion (R65.4bn).

“The in­ter­na­tional con­tract for de­vel­op­ment of Phase 11 of South Pars in the frame­work of IPC (Ira­nian Petroleum Con­tract) will be signed on Mon­day at 2.30pm, at a cer­e­mony in Tehran at­tended by Ira­nian oil min­is­ter Bi­jan Zan­ganeh and se­nior of­fi­cials from France’s To­tal, China’s CNPCI and Iran’s Petropars,” the Ira­nian oil min­istry of­fi­cial said.

To­tal’s boss Patrick Pouyanne has said that the group would make an ini­tial $1bn in­vest­ment af­ter the US ex­tended sanc­tions re­lief un­der the 2015 agree­ment.

Iran, the third largest pro­ducer in Opec, hopes it will at­tract more foreign com­pa­nies.

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