0916 GMT January 19, 2020
Asadollah Gharehkhani said Total terminated a contract to develop Phase 11 of Iran's South Pars energy hub since the French energy giant started to feel that its continued presence in Iran would lead to a heavy loss for the company, Mehr News Agency reported.
Asked whether necessary guarantees have been obtained in case of Total's exit from Iran, he said, "The contract between Iran and Total included a paragraph that indicated in the event of Total's exit from the project, CNPC would replace the French company. This was in a sense an executive guarantee."
He noted, "All costs and equipment committed by Total [in South Pars project] will remain in Iran, and there is no contract on returning any of them."
Iran, he added, has given no guarantees to Total, either from the banking, public or private sectors that would allow the French company to ask for the return of its equipment and investment.
Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh announced on Aug. 20 that Total has officially left the country due to extraterritorial US sanctions, thus terminating its contract to develop Phase 11 of Iran's South Pars energy hub.
China's state-owned energy major CNPC is to take over Total's stake in the South Pars project.
Total had been forced to abandon the South Pars project once before in 2012, when France backed US sanctions, including an oil embargo, against Iran.