News ID: 191389
Published: 0658 GMT April 23, 2017

Official: Total will finalize South Pars deal within weeks

Official: Total will finalize South Pars deal within weeks

Iran says it expects France's Total to finalize an agreement on the development of a key natural gas project in the south of the country in less than a month.

Iran's Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Amirhossein Zamani-Nia said 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 on a final agreement over the project," Zamani-Nia told ISNA.

"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 preliminary 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 of gas per day 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.

Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Ali Kardor 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.

Iran has signed a flurry of deals with Western companies over the past year since the easing of international sanctions on Tehran after an accord was reached over its nuclear program.

Iran needs foreign investment for repairs and upgrading of its oil and gas fields. It also seeks the transfer of technology to its oil industry after a decade of sanctions.

Shell signed a provisional deal in December to develop Iranian oil and gas fields South Azadegan, Yadavaran and Kish in December 2016.

Iran has named 29 companies from more than a dozen countries as being allowed to bid for oil and gas projects using the new, less restrictive contract model.

The firms include Shell, France's Total, Italy's Eni, Malaysia's Petronas and Russia's Gazprom and Lukoil, as well as companies from China, Austria, Japan and other countries.

Russia's Zarubezhneft signed an MoU for a feasibility study on two joint fields in the west of the country.

Norway's International Aker Solutions Company signed an MoU to modernize Iran's oil industry.

Last May, Austria's OMV signed an MoU for projects located in the Zagros area in western Iran and the Fars field in the south.

South Korean Daewoo Engineering and Construction (Daewoo E&C) signed an MoU to construct an oil refinery in Bandar Jask, on the southern coast of Iran.

Italy's Saipem signed MoUs to cooperate on pipeline projects, upgrading of refineries and development of Tous gas field in the northeastern province of Khorasan Razavi.

Norwegian oil and gas company DNO said it was the second Western energy company after Total to sign a deal with Iran under which it agreed to study the development of the Changuleh oilfield in western Iran.

Lukoil, Russia's second biggest oil producer, hopes to reach a decision on developing two new oilfields in Iran.

Germany's Siemens AG signed an MoU in May to overhaul equipment and facilities at Iran's oil operations and refineries.

BASF's Wintershall oil and gas exploration subsidiary signed an MoU with the National Iranian Oil Company in April 2016.

   
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