1020 GMT February 28, 2020
As per the latest assessments, new operations are expected to be carried out by March 2020 to develop the Phase 11 of the South Pars (SP) Gas Field in southern Iran, said an official of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).
Two years ago in July 2017, the contract to develop the SP Phase 11 was signed between the NIOC and a consortium comprising France’s Total, China’s CNPC International Ltd. and Iran’s Petropars Company in Tehran, ISNA wrote.
Among the most important measures taken by Total as part of its commitments to develop the phase were construction of the phase’s first platform jacket by Iranian companies, opening its office in Iran, holding a tender and spending $90 million on the project.
The French firm, however, officially pulled out of the contract and left Iran following US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in May 2018, which was followed by the reimposition of Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Tehran in two phases.
As per the terms of the contract to develop the phase, in Total’s absence, the Chinese company will receive its share.
Commenting on the news of a third company joining the consortium to develop SP Phase 11, Reza Dehqan, the NIOC’s deputy managing director, said, “Currently, the process of carrying out the contract has become difficult. Negotiations are underway to facilitate this process. I have no information of the presence of a third company.”
The second phase of the SP Gas Field’s development project pertains to minimizing gas pressure drop in the phases of the filed, which would require $25 billion in investment.
As acknowledged by Iranian officials, development of Phase 11 is not beset with any financial problems and if the Chinese company replaces Total in the project, it has sufficient capital to implement the project.
On the other hand, it is said that if the Chinese firm also pulls out of the phase’s development contract, Petropars Company is capable of producing natural gas in the phase given the experiences it has gained through developing SP phases 12 and 19.