Iran: China’s state-owned energy CNPC takes over French Total

13 Agosto, 2018, 08:25 | Author: Arnold Perez
  • China's CNPC takes over Total's share in Iran gas project

State-owned CNPC, which had joined an original consortium involving Total and Iran's Petropars Ltd.in 2016 to develop Phase 11 of the South Pars Gas field in the Persian Gulf, would increase its stake in the project from the current 30 percent.

The Saturday report quotes Mohammad Mostafavi, an official in Iran's state oil company, as saying CNPC now owns 80 percent of the shares in the $5 billion project, having bought shares from Total. Terms of the contract haven't yet officially changed, according to Shana, the Oil Ministry's news service. The second wave that would hit in November would ban investments in Iran's oil and gas projects. Calls to CNPC went unanswered on Sunday.

Total, which finalized its agreement with Iran in July 2017, had already spent some €40-million ($45.7-million) on the project when Trump announced in May that the US would exit the 2015 global nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose sanctions on Tehran. Total declined to comment.

The renewed USA sanctions were among those lifted under a 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran on curbing Iran's nuclear programme.

The renewal of USA sanctions took effect on Tuesday.

Scores of European companies, including Total, have withdrawn from the oil-rich Persian Gulf country since the USA reversal.

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Total and CNPC are part of an worldwide consortium that signed a deal with Iran's state oil firm National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in 2017 to develop Phase II of the South Pars field, which has the world's biggest natural gas reserves ever found in one place.

Total, had previously withdrawn from South Pars in 2009 because of sanctions.

Total made an initial investment of $1 billion (€875 million) for its 50.1 percent stake.

"Impossible" Operations Last month, Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne raised the prospect of Chinese groups joining Western companies in avoiding Iran due to sanctions.

CNPC has been active in Iran since 2004, operating in oil, gas and oil-field services, according to the company's website.

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