• 32 mins Surprise! Aramco Scraps International Listing Plans
  • 21 mins Getting out of oil .. now
  • 3 hours EU Proposes Online Turnover Tax For Big Tech Firms
  • 2 hours The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica Scandal
  • 2 hours McDonald's Sets Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets
  • 1 hour "Rock star of science" - Stephen Hawking, Who unlocked The Secrets Of Space And Time, Dies at 76
  • 2 hours Country With Biggest Oil Reserves Biggest Threat to World Economy
  • 17 hours Why Are Investors Ignoring China's Oil Giant?
  • 15 hours 2020 - Electricity From Renewables Will Be Cheaper Than From Most Fossil Fuels?
  • 4 hours Step forward or blackmail? DJT: Tariffs On Steel and Aluminum Will Only Come Off If New Fair NAFTA Agreement Is Signed.
  • 15 hours Statoil Changes Name
  • 1 hour Bad seven days for Martin Shkreli
  • 19 hours G20 Rejects Calls for Cryptocurrency Regulation
  • 15 hours Terminator plans to sue big oil for 'first degree murder'
  • 15 hours S&P 500 companies expected to buy back $800 billion of their own shares
  • 14 hours Great Wall Seeks To Double Vehicle Sales By 2025, Plans Electric Car Push
Trafigura Leads The U.S. Oil Export Boom

Trafigura Leads The U.S. Oil Export Boom

Trafigura, one of the world’s…

Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal


Europe is scrambling to come up with a contingency plan in the face of a U.S. threat to end the nuclear deal with Iran—a move that lends a high level of uncertainty to European megadeals, including French Total SA’s $5-billion oil deal with Tehran.

At stake if Trump refuses to certify Tehran’s compliance with the nuclear accord on 15 October and sanctions are re-imposed are deals with European companies worth over $55 billion in total, according to figures from the Financial Times.

If Trump refuses certification on 15 October, Congress would then have 60 days to make a decision on new sanctions, giving Europe two months tome come up with a contingency plan. 

Right now, there isn’t one.

“People in Brussels are looking at whether blocking statutes need to be upgraded or updated,” David O’Sullivan, EU ambassador to the US, told the Financial Times on Thursday. “There’s no definitive plan yet. But if the US were to do something which impinged on the ability of Europeans to do what we could consider legitimate business with Iran, this is something we would like to look at.”

Earlier in October, the French oil giant shrugged off the US sanctions threat, with Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne telling media, “We knew when we signed that it will not be an easy road. But I prefer to have a problem to solve and to have the opportunity rather than having not signed [and] no opportunities.”

Total signed its deal with Iran in July, making recent history. This was the first deal Iran signed with a foreign energy company since sanctions were lifted in January 2016.

Related: Goldman: Expect Oil Stocks To Catch Up With Rising Oil Prices

The $4.8-billion deal is to develop Iran’s prolific South Pars natural gas field—the largest gas field in the world, shared with Qatar. Total would lead the consortium.

Iran was the European Union’s top trading partner before sanctions were slapped on Tehran in 2010. Since sanctions were lifted, trade has still been hampered due to some U.S. financial sanctions that make Western banking institutions still wary of doing business with Iran.

Europe’s options are limited as it seeks a contingency plan. According to analysts interviewed by the Financial Times, one option could be an effort to block legislation related to a new imposition of sanctions by the US, but this would be a complicated “by the international reach of U.S. laws on financial transactions”. 

Trump is expected to have a decision on the nuclear deal as early as Friday.

By Damir Kaletovic for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:


Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Armand Holle on October 14 2017 said:
    A comparable situation existed in the late 1990ies, when negotiations were held in Iran between a consortium consisting of Shell, British Gas, Gaz de France and Petronas-Carigali from Malaysia and Iran's National Iranian Oil Company, in respect of another South Pars agreement -number IV -, for export of the gas to Pakistan.

    The “Iran Libya sanctions Act” or ILSA, proposed by the Republican Senator Alfonse D'Amato of New York was in effect. The legislation imposed trade sanctions on foreign companies that assisted Iran and Libya in their efforts to develop oil and gas projects. It also called for a mandatory ban on U.S. government purchases from companies dealing with Iran, denying export licenses to their subsidiaries, and refusing entry to their executives.

    The European partners of the consortium requested DG-iv of the European Commision for help, which was eventually obtained: a waiver of the sanctions was agreed in exchange for leniency in the negotiations in an ongoing WTO-case. The project never came to fruition, though because shortly after submission of a project proposal the project was aborted due
    to differences of opinion between Iran and Pakistan .
  • Gary Novak on October 13 2017 said:
    When George Costanza resists Jerry Seinfeld's judgment, Jerry knows he is on to something. Ditto EU resistance.

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News