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Total seeks stake in US$4 billion Iranian gas field project

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Reuters are reporting that Total is seeking a 50% stake in a US$4 billion project in Iran's giant South Pars gas field.

Total signed a preliminary deal for the South Pars project last year, becoming the first Western oil company to sign an energy agreement after the EU and the US eased sanctions as part of a pact to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Total said the South Pars 11 project would require investment of about US$4 billion, with the French firm financing 50.1% with equity contributions and payments in non-US currency.

If finalised, Total would operate the project with a 50.1% stake, China's CNPC would own 30% through one of its subsidiaries and Iran's Petropars would have 19.9%.

South Pars is part of a Gulf reservoir that is one of the biggest gas fields in the world but its development has been hobbled by years of Western sanctions imposed over what the West said was Tehran's bid for nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies.

Total said in its announcement that it discussed other projects with Iranian officials in 2016 and carried out technical reviews, including for investment in a 10 million tpy LNG plant at Tombak on the Gulf coast.

In February, Total was also reported to be in talks to buy a stake in the partly-built LNG plant at the port.

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