Wednesday, 15 August, 2018


Total threatens to 'back out' of South Pars 11 in Iran

EU Commission takes steps to protect EU business in Iran Total threatens to 'back out' of South Pars 11 in Iran
Conrad Doyle | 17 May, 2018, 01:13

French oil major Total has halted plans to help develop Iran's giant South Pars gas field as it seeks to clarify whether the investment can avoid falling foul of returning United States sanctions on Tehran, the oil company said Wednesday.

In a statement, Total said it "will have to unwind all related operations" before November 4, unless it's granted a specific waiver by United States authorities that would protect it against sanctions.

However earlier this month, President Donald Trump introduced his withdrawal from the deal, and warned firms that they face sanctions in the event that they do enterprise with Iran.

Total said it would not be making any further commitments towards the Iranian South Pars project for now, and added it was engaged with French and USA authorities over the possibility of a waiver to the project.

The company said American banks are involved in over 90% of its financing. SP11 is a gas development project dedicated to the supply of domestic gas to the domestic Iranian market and for which Total has voluntarily implemented an IRGC-free policy for all contractors participating in the project, thereby contributing to the global policy to restrain the field of influence of the IRGC.

France, Germany and Britain are leading a European effort to safeguard Europe's economic interests in Iran.

SP11 is the biggest proposed project between an global oil company and Iran and if Total withdraws, it will likely deal a significant blow to Tehran. Joe Kaesar, the CEO of Germany's Siemens, told CNN his company would not be able to do any new business with Tehran. "With that in mind it's a logical decision".

Italy's Eni, which last June signed a provisional agreement with Tehran to conduct oil and gas feasibility studies, said after Washington's decision to quit the nuclear deal last week that it had no plans for new projects in Iran.

Total said it was working with French authorities towards trying to secure a waiver for the South Pars project.

The company also confirmed its 5%/year average production growth target between 2016 and 2022, noting "various growth opportunities which have been captured by Total in recent months."Total also said its actual investment to date with respect to the south Pars contract is less than Eur40 million".

CNPC has a 30% stake in the venture, with Petropars at 19.9%, leaving Total with an operatorship of 50.1%.

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