France’s Total will lose all of its investment if it pulls out of a deal with Iran to develop South Pars, the world’s largest gas field, Iranian oil minister emphasized.
“If Total, without the enforcement of (U.N.) Security Council sanctions, announces that it has the intention to leave the contract, no capital will be returned to this company and no sum will be transferred to the company,” Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying by SHANA, the news site of the Iranian oil ministry.
Total signed a deal with Tehran in July to develop phase 11 of Iran’s South Pars field with an initial investment of $1 billion, marking the first major Western energy investment in the Islamic Republic since the lifting of sanctions, Reuters reported.
The French oil and gas company said in a statement on Tuesday it was committed to Iran and had the “willingness to move forward” with the South Pars project.
“Total is currently working on the South Pars 11 project and is committed to pursuing it. Tenders have already been launched and contacts should be awarded by January,” a Total spokesman said.
Total’s Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said last week the oil major would have to review its Iran gas project if the United States decided to impose unilateral sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear program, given Total’s assets in the U.S. market.
The U.S. Congress is due to decide within about a month whether to reinstate sanctions on Iran, after U.S. President Donald Trump refused to formally certify that Tehran was complying with its nuclear deal.
Zanganeh said Total had pledged 56 million euros ($66 million) for the South Pars project and work was progressing as specified in the contract.