Total is still participating in the development of phase 11 of the supergiant South Pars gas field in Iran as part of its contract, according to a Sunday news report by Shana.
Quoting Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Shojaoddin Bazargani, the news agency of the country's oil ministry said Total had not officially pulled out of the project yet due to U.S. sanctions re-imposed on Iran.
The ministry will notify 'if it does so anytime in the future,' it added.
The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and a consortium of Total, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) International, and Petropars signed the contract for developing phase 11 of the South Pars field in 2017 with Total's initial investment of $1 billion.
'CNPC International has announced it would overtake Total's share in the contract if it pulls out,' Bazargani added, responding to earlier media reports that the Chinese company had already done so.
Following Total's withdrawal from the contract, CNPC's share will be 80.1 percent, according to Shana's report.
Total announced on May 16 that it would 'not be in a position to continue' the project in Iran and would 'have to unwind all related operations before Nov. 4, 2018 unless Total is granted a specific project waiver by the U.S. authorities with the support of the French and European authorities'.
It said the decision was taken 'as a consequence' of U.S. President Donald Trump’s May 8 announcement to pull out of the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, known as the JCPOA, and re-impose sanctions against Tehran.
The French energy major had confirmed earlier in May that its actual spending to date with respect to the South Pars 11 contract was less than €40 million ($47.2 million) in group share, and a withdrawal would not impact its production growth target of 5 percent compound annual growth rate between 2016 and 2022.
By Hale Turkes