News ID: 216942
Published: 0142 GMT June 19, 2018

Total pullout not affecting South Pars development: Official

Total pullout not affecting South Pars development: Official

The possible withdrawal of French oil major Total from Iran's South Pars gas field has not slowed down the project, a senior Iranian official said, adding that Tehran is in talks with Russia's Gazprom on the development of two other fields.

Total said that it would pull out of the multibillion-dollar South Pars project unless it received a waiver from the United States to protect it from sanctions that Washington might impose on companies doing business with Iran, Reuters reported.

"The claim that the development of Phase 2 of South Pars gas field has been stopped because of Total is not correct and everything is going according to plan," Gholamreza Manouchehri, the deputy head of National Iranian Oil Company said on Tuesday.

Manouchehri said if Total walks away from the South Pars field, Chinese state-owned energy major CNPC, which already holds a 30-percent stake in the field, will take over.

He said if both leave, PetroPars, a subsidiary of NIOC, is prepared to step in.

Manouchehri further said Iran was in talks with Russia's Gazprom on the development of the Azar and Changuleh oilfields.

He added that Iran plans to increase the production potential of its oilfields by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd).

"By implementing 34 projects in different fields, more than 400,000 bpd will be added to production potential of Iranian oilfields," Manouchehri said, noting that the value of the projects was more than $6 billion.

"Based on these projects, which are implemented in the form of EPCF (engineering, procurement, construction and financing) contracts, reimbursement of costs will come from the increase in production."

Manouchehri said talks with Maersk Oil to develop South Pars oil layer have stopped since the Danish company is now owned by Total. Negotiations, however, are ongoing with other domestic and foreign companies to boost oil recovery from the field which is currently producing 20,000 barrels per day (bpd).

In the absence of the Europeans, Iran will rely mainly on Chinese and Russian companies to push ahead with its development plans.

Indians are also 'seriously pursuing' the Farzad B gas project in the Persian Gulf, he said.

The two sides have been trying to narrow differences since the field's discovery by an Indian consortium in 2008.

Tehran has reportedly reduced the scope of the project and asked New Delhi to submit a revised proposal which is said to be worth $3-4 billion.

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