The development comes after months of speculation that the Chinese state-owned CNPC could replace France’s Total after it announced a decision to abandon the Iranian South Pars project due to imminent US anti-Tehran sanctions that could potentially expose the French oil & gas behemoth to secondary restrictions.
Speaking with the ICANA news agency on Sunday, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said that China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) will take over the multibillion-dollar South Pars gas project after France’s Total oil and gas giant left Iran in the face of US sanctions.
“China’s CNPC company has officially replaced Total in Phase 11 of South Pars, but it has not started work. Talks should be held with CNPC to determine when it will start its operational and executive activity,” he said.
Until the French conglomerate announced its decision to scrap the project, three signatories to the deal planned to invest nearly $5 billion over 20 years to reach a production capacity of 400,000 barrels of oil per day.