Total Deal Serves National Development: Iran’s VP

Iran’s first vice-president played down criticism by opponents of a recent gas deal Iran has signed with France’s Total, saying the contract would serve the goals of national development, as emphasized by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

Those opposing the recent gas deal the Oil Ministry has signed with the French company Total seek to dispute with the administration, but they are standing against the Iranian nation, Eshaq Jahangiri said at a cultural event in Tehran on Wednesday.

The contract with Total serves the interests of national development, he added, saying its value stands at $5 billion, while Ayatollah Khamenei has stressed the need for the attraction of $200 billion in foreign investment in the oil and gas industry.

His comments came after an expression of concern by some lawmakers about the damages the recent gas deal with Total would do to the country’s “national interests.”

Last week, the Oil Ministry signed the $5 billion contract with Total and China’s National Petroleum Company (CNPC) on development of the 11th phase of South Pars gas field.

Total has a 50.1 percent share in the 20-year deal. The state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. has a 30 percent stake and Iran’s Petropars has 19.9 percent.

The deal includes 30 wells and two production units.

Total had signed a draft agreement with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in November 2016, but announced in February 2017 that a final decision on the deal hinged on the new US administration renewing sanctions waivers on Iran.

The South Pars 11 project will have a production capacity of 1.8 billion cubic feet per day, or 370,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

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