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French Oil Giant Seeks 50% Stake In Iran’s $4B South Pars

Total signed a preliminary deal for the project last year, and today stated its intentions in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The move makes Total the first Western supermajor to sign a deal with Iran on energy following the easing of sanctions.

According to Total’s SEC filing, the company would finance 50.1 percent of the South Pars 11 project, which requires a total investment of US$4 billion.

If this deal goes through, Total would be the operator of the project, while China’s CNPC would hold a 30-percent interest through a subsidiary, while Iran’s Petropars would hold 19.9 percent.

A final investment decision is expected from Total this summer, while Iran is expected to finalize contracts in April, according to Reuters.

It gets tricky, though, with the possibility that the new regime at the White House may not renew sanctions waivers.

The Persian Gulf South Pars field will begin production by the end of the fiscal year, according to Iranian officials. The first stage of production will see output of 35,000 barrels per day, while the second stage will increase to 100,000 bpd.

Iran shares ownership of the gas reserves in the largest field of its kind with Qatar. The 14-trillion-cubic-feet find represents eight percent of the world’s known reserves.

Related: Saudi Arabia Tries To Reassure Markets After Oil Price Plunge

Total is also considering other investments in Iran, including a 10-million-tonne/year liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and an investment in the South Azadegan oil field.

The French oil major resumed trading with Iran in February last year, when it bought US$1.9 billion in crude from Tehran.

In February, Iran voiced concerns that Total had disclosed data about South Pars to neighboring Qatar, warning the French company that it may have to compensate for this.

By Damir Kaletovic for Oilprice.com

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  • Nader on March 19 2017 said:
    I'm afraid you're confusing two separate things in this article... Total has signed an HOA with Iran for a 50.1pc stake in the project to develop phase 11 of the South Pars gas field - yes. But that has no link to the project that will bring around 35,000 b/d of oil on-stream within the coming weeks. That is from the South Pars oil layer - a project that is currently being operated by subsidiaries of Iran's NIOC, and in which Total has so far shown no interest in.

    Also, the South Pars gas field has been producing [gas and condensate] for over 15 years from other phases.

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