Iran to sue Total if information leak confirmed
The French oil major has allegedly passed on vital information to Qatar about Iran's South Pars gas field, an enormous offshore natural gas reserve, which the two countries share
Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has said Tehran will definitely sue Total if the French energy giant is proved to have leaked secret information about the Islamic Republic’s South Pars gas field to Qatar.
Speaking at a television talk show on Tuesday night, Zanganeh said Iran had divulged information to Total about only two out of the 30 phases of the South Pars gas field, the world’s largest gas reserve field which it shares with Qatar.
Total is negotiating with Iran on cooperation in development of the gas field, which is located in the Gulf, with Qatar having in its possession a larger portion of the field, which it calls North Dome.
If it is confirmed that Total has leaked information to Qataris, Iran will file a lawsuit and Total will have to pay compensation, Zanganeh stressed.
On February 9, Total’s chief executive said the French oil major plans to make a final investment decision on a $2bn gas project in Iran by the summer, but the decision hinges on the renewal of US sanctions waivers.
Patrick Pouyanne said South Pars 11 will be among a couple of projects to be approved by the company to start by the summer, if nothing is modified regarding the sanctions.
Total was the first Western energy company to sign a major deal with Tehran after the lifting of economic sanctions on Iran.
The French giant has also recently won a major 30% stake in a new 25-year contract to operate Qatar's largest offshore oilfield, in the second major upstream development deal for the French oil giant in the GCC in as many years. State-owned Qatar Petroleum will keep the remaining 70% in the new joint venture for the Al Shaheen offshore oilfield, which is 80km off Qatar’s waters, and which currently produces around 300,000 barrels per day (bpd).