By Emil Ilgar
Iran continues negotiations with France’s Total “seriously” to finalize a $2 billion deal to develop South Pars Phase 11, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Feb. 15.
“We hope to finalize the deal and sign an agreement in 2 months,” he said during an interview with state-run IRIB TV.
The CEO of French oil major Total, Patrick Pouyanne said Feb. 9 that the company plans to make a final investment decision on a $2 billion gas project in Iran by summer, but the decision hinges on the renewal of US sanction waivers.
He said South Pars 11 will be among a couple of projects to be approved by the company to start by summer, if nothing is modified with regards to the sanctions.
“There are two executive orders that are supposed to be renewed before summer,” he said, explaining that the administration of previous US President Barack Obama had signed waivers suspending the sanctions.
“These are supposed to last about 18 months. So President Trump will have to, or not, renew these sanction waivers,” Pouyanne told journalists in Paris.
Touching upon Pouyanne’s statement, Zanganeh said, “We have already received their concern and Iran’s Foreign Ministry is pursuing the issue.”
He also criticised Total’s CEO, saying that publicising concerns “was not a good decision.”
“We have other deals with foreigners and Total should have considered that,” he said.
Iran and Total signed a memorandum of understanding on development South Pars Phase 11 in late 2016. The overall cost of the project is estimated to reach $4.8 billion.