BEIJING/LONDON (Reuters) – China’s top oil and gas company CNPC is considering taking over Total’s stake in a giant Iranian gas project if the French company leaves Iran to comply with any new U.S. sanctions, industry sources said.
Total signed the $1 billion deal to develop the South Pars gas field in July. The contract gave CNPC the option to take over Total’s stake if it pulled out, according to sources involved in the talks.
Deal - Western - Energy - Investment - Islamic
The deal was the first major Western energy investment in the Islamic Republic since international sanctions, including most of those imposed by the United States, were lifted as part of a landmark agreement in 2015 over Iran’s nuclear program.
But after U.S. President Donald Trump refused in October to certify that Tehran is complying with the deal, Congress will have to vote on whether to reimpose sanctions on Iran.
Vote - Place - Sanctions - Companies - Iran
It was unclear when a vote would take place or what sanctions might be imposed, but they could bar companies working in Iran from also operating in the United States.
Total has much larger operations in the United States and Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said it would leave if it were no longer able to operate in Iran.
Terms - Agreement - South - Pars - World
Under the terms of the agreement to develop phase 11 of South Pars, the world’s largest gas field, CNPC could take over Total’s 50.1 percent stake and become operator of the project if Total is forced to withdraw from Iran, a senior Beijing-based source with knowledge of the joint-venture agreement said.
CNPC has a 30 percent stake, while the Iranian national oil company’s subsidiary PetroPars holds the remaining 19.9 percent.
CNPC - Officials - Talks - Weeks - Implications
CNPC officials have held internal talks in recent weeks to discuss the implications of taking control, according to three industry sources briefed on the talks.
Spokespeople for CNPC, Total and Iran’s National Oil Company (NIOC) declined to...
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