Nothing to Gloat at for Iran Neighbors: Zangeneh2018-05-19Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh said: “None of Iran’s neighbors must relish their neighbor’s hardships. Everyone may face hardships. When a country is gripped by difficulties, others must not gloat at their trouble. We are Muslims. Tongue-lashing is more devastating that swords. This (condition) will also pass by.”
Speaking to reporters following signature of a heads of agreement between the National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC) and a consortium of international companies, known as Pergas, for development of Iran’s Karanj Oilfield, Mr. Zangeneh touched on Total’s possible pullout from the development of South Pars Phase 11 project, and said: “According to the contract, the company has announced it would begin the withdrawal process if it cannot secure a waiver from U.S. sanctions.”
Total signed a contract in 2017 to develop phase 11 of Iran’s South Pars field with an initial investment of $1 billion.
He said: “If Total fails to secure the waiver from the US, the Chinese National Petroleum Company (CNPC) will take over its stake in the project.”
The official further said in case CNPC pulled out of the deal, too, the other party of the contract, Iran’s Petropars, would replace it as the major developer of the project.
Asked whether Total would be fined for pulling out of the deal, Zangeneh said: “There is no discussion of fining, but the amount Total has invested in the project so far will not be repaid to it for now.”
He said CPNC and Petropars are capable of developing the project’s first phase which is natural gas production, “therefore, the project will certainly not be halted.”
“Regarding the dialogues with the Pergas Consortium, I am not worried about financing and procurement of equipment and items for development of the field by the consortium,” he went on to add.
Gas Exports to Iraq
Speaking of Iraq’s political development and its impact on Iran’s gas flow to its neighbor, Zangeneh said, “Whatever party that takes power in Iraq would need gas because it would benefit the country.”
Iraq is supplying most of its need for gas at a relatively high price while importing from Iran would cost less than half for the OPEC member oil producer.
Regarding oil swap with Kirkuk, he said the swap operation had not started yet but it would benefit both countries.
Asked about South Pars Oil Layer development, he said: “For the time being, less must be said and options had better not been revealed.”
“Up until last year, OPEC members viewed the prices of oil at $60 to $65 per barrel as suitable,” the Iranian Minister of Petroleum added.