Total says to move ahead with key Iran project
French oil and gas major Total says it will try to push ahead with an Iranian gas project if the US decides to impose unilateral sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
The announcement was made by Total Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne in an interview with International Oil Daily.
Pouyanne emphasized that Total would examine the consequences of a recent decision by US President Donald Trump to decertify Iran’s compliance with a nuclear deal that it signed with the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany back in 2015.
“If Iran is compliant, if the European Union and China and Russia continue to consider that the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) can be applied, then that means the U.S. would have to take unilateral sanctions…,” he said in the interview as reported by Reuters.
“But we will try on our side to obtain the comfort that we can continue the project, which will be our priority.”
Pouyanne said Total was weighing its options and all would depend on the US Congress within the next two months.
He added that there was little financial risk to Total from the current situation because it will only make an investment decision on the project around the end of the year.
“We have launched the tenders, we are supposed to award contracts by year-end, so all that is fitting well in terms of the calendar,” Pouyanne said, adding that it will have clarity by the end of the year after the decision by the US Congress.
Total signed a preliminary agreement with Iran last year to develop Phase 11 of the country’s giant South Pars gas field.
The French major would lead a consortium that comprises China’s CNPC and Iran’s Petropars over the project which is estimated to need an investment of around $5 billion.