Iranian President Lauds $5bln Gas Deal with France’s Total
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani praised a multi-billion-dollar gas deal between the Islamic Republic and the French energy giant Total, saying it is not only an economic contract but also a major cooperation agreement in “technological, scientific and managerial” areas.
Speaking at a meeting with Total Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne in Tehran on Monday, Rouhani hailed France’s position in the field of economy and energy technology and said the signing and implementing of the contract would be “a positive step” toward closer economic and technological cooperation between the two countries.
He further emphasized that his administration has always made efforts to pave the way for the enhancement of Iran’s economic cooperation with giant companies through the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and six world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Fortunately, the existence of political will on the Iranian side and among the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, US, Britain, France, and Germany) led to the agreement with Total,” the president noted.
Pouyanne, for his part, underlined the importance of efforts to make the gas deal with Iran yield results and expressed the hope that it would pave the way for closer cooperation between Tehran and other European companies.
Total and China’s National Petroleum Company (CNPC) struck a $5 billion agreement with Iran to develop its giant South Pars gas field.
The agreement was signed on Monday at a ceremony in Tehran attended by Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, Pouyanne and senior officials from China’s CNPC and Iran’s Petropars.
French Ambassador to Tehran Francois Senemaud was also present at the event.
Phase 11 of South Pars gas field will be developed in the framework of the Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC) by a consortium led by Total, which includes the CNPC and Petropars.
The Total has a 50.1 percent share in the 20-year deal. The state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. has a 30 percent stake and Iran’s Petropars has 19.9 percent.
The deal includes 30 wells and two production units.
During the ceremony, the Iranian minister congratulated all involved in the deal, saying it will lead to “more than $5 billion in foreign investments.”
The vast offshore gas field is shared between Iran and Qatar, where Total is also a major player in gas production as well as in oil and refining. Tehran calls the giant field South Pars while Doha calls it the North Field.