Total resumes talks with Iran over $5bn South Pars

French supermajor join CNPC in discussions with NIOC over gas project

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Total could be making a surprise return to Iran after a senior Iranian oil official revealed that the French supermajor is meeting with the National Iran Oil Company (NIOC) and the Chinese state-owned CNPC regarding the development of Phase 11 of the South Pars gas field.

Iranian news agency ISNA reported that Reza Kasaiezadeh, managing director of Iran's National Gas Export Company, said that talks have resumed regarding the US$5 billion joint venture.

The project involves both the upstream development of the field as well as the construction of a major liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility at the site.

Total did sign a memorandum of understanding with NIOC a few months ago, but differing factors such as agreeing terms, the political situation in Iran as well as UN sanctions regarding the country’s nuclear programme meant that talks had stalled.

Although Iran have the world’s second largest gas reserves the country has not been able to sign any export deals due to the lack of infrastructure and expertise in the country’s hydrocarbons sector.

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