Iran to Refund Total But Not Until Phase 11 of South Pars : Iran will reimburse French oil and gas major Total for its investment in the South Pars natural gas field but not until phase 11 of the multibillion-dollar project becomes operational, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Saturday.
Total signed a contract in 2017 to develop phase 11 of the field with an initial investment of $1 billion, but it pulled out of the project in late August after failing to obtain a waiver from reinstated U.S. sanctions on Tehran.
“Total is not supposed to pay a sum as a penalty to Iran, but the money that this company has invested in phase 11 of South Pars until now will not be reimbursed until the time of operation and production,” Zanganeh said.
In May, when Total said it would pull out of the project unless it secured a sanctions waiver, the company said it had so far spent less than 40 million euros on the project and withdrawing would not impact its production growth targets. Source: Reuters
Previously, Iran’s oil minister said on that France’s Total has officially left Iran after the United States threatened to impose sanctions on companies that do business in the country. “The process to replace (Total) with another company is underway,” Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying, adding that Total was no longer working on its contract to develop phase 11 of the South Pars gas project.
Iranian officials had earlier suggested China’s state-owned CNPC could take over Total’s stake in the South Pars gas project, lifting its interest to more than 80 percent from 30 percent now.
The United States reimposed sanctions on Iran after Washington withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers. The agreement had imposed limits on Iran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief.