Iran Signs Major Oil Deal with Pergas after Total Backtracks
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC) signed an initial agreement with Pergas whereby the London-based international consortium will develop an oilfield in the country’s southwestern province of Khuzestan.
The Heads of Agreement (HOA) was signed in Tehran on Wednesday during a ceremony attended by Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, British Ambassador to Tehran Rob Macaire and Pergas Managing Director Colin Rowle, according to Shana news agency.
The consortium will aim to produce 655 million barrels of oil from the Keranj field in Khuzestan province over the next 10 years.
“We hope that the UK government ... endorses the agreement,” Zanganeh said.
He added that he expected European countries to make up for the US “betrayal” of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, and support Western companies that sign deals with Tehran.
The agreement was announced on the same day that French energy group Total said it would pull out of a multibillion-dollar gas project in Iran if it couldn’t secure a waiver from US sanctions.
Zanganeh said Tehran would spare no efforts to maintain its oil production and exports at current levels, and predicted it would overcome the difficulties resulting from the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal.
“The current situation will pass and Iran will emerge as a winner,” he was quoted as saying. “Iran is a peace-seeking nation, and honors its contracts,” he added.
The Iranian oil minister also said oil prices at $60-$65 per barrel would be “logical” and that he believed the United States was trying to keep prices inflated to support US shale oil growth.
On May 8, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after around two years of negotiations.
In a speech on May 9, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei urged that any decision to keep the deal running without the US should be conditional on “practical guarantees” from the three European parties to the JCPOA.