Iran’s oil minister said Total has officially backed out of its contract with Iran, saying the country has begun plans to replace the French oil and gas company with local businesses.
In a meeting with lawmakers in the Parliament on Monday, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Total has formally backed off from fulfilling its contract with Iran.
The oil minister also said that efforts are underway to replace the French company with Iranian ones.
In July 2017, Total signed a $1 billion deal to develop the South Pars gas field, south of Iran. But in May 2018, the French oil giant announced its decision to pull out of the deal with Iran to avoid US sanctions.
Later in July, Iranian holding company MAPNA Group voiced readiness to take over the project and carry out the unfinished project to develop phase 11 of South Pars gas field.
Elsewhere in his Monday comments at the Parliament, Zanganeh said the Oil Ministry has launched plans to use the capabilities of local companies instead of relying on foreign firms whose partnership with Iran have been put on hold by the decisions of the US and other enemies of Iran.
Elsehwere, asked about a rise in the number of fire incidents in the country’s petrochemical plants, the minister pointed to aging facilities and lack of proper supervisory control over safety of the private plants, saying that while the economic life of a petrochemical factory is 30 years at most, some Iranian plants are above 80 years old.
In the most serious incident in the history of Iran’s petrochemical industry, an inferno broke out at Bu Ali Sina Petrochemical Refinery Complex in Mahshahr in July 2016 and raged at a giant storage tank for more than two days.