China’s CNPC reportedly might take Total’s stake in Iranian South Pars investment if French pull out

By bne IntelliNews December 17, 2017

Top Chinese oil and gas company CNPC is considering taking over the 50.1% stake held by French energy major Total in a multi-billion dollar deal to develop part of the giant South Pars gas field if the latter departs Iran to adhere to any new US sanctions, industry sources told Reuters on December 15.

In July, in what was seen as a breakthrough for Iran in attracting foreign investment since the dropping of crippling sanctions with the start of the nuclear deal 19 months previoulsy, Total agreed to put in an initial $1bn to develop South Pars Phase 11. The contract gave CNPC the option to take over Total’s stake if it pulled out, sources involved in the talks reportedly told the news service.

In signing the deal, Total became the first Western energy major to commit to an investment in the post-nuclear sanctions Islamic Republic. After the signing, it also held out the prospect of committing to big petrochemical projects in the country.

But with US President Donald Trump possibly set in January to introduce moves that could wreck the nuclear deal, Total has become anxious that its assets stateside could in the near future become exposed to sanctions should it continue with its investment in Iran.

CNPC has a 30% stake in the phase 11 project, while the Iranian national oil company’s subsidiary PetroPars holds the remaining 19.9%.

Related Articles

Iran's supreme leader dumps Telegram Messenger and plugs domestic rivals as ban fears grow

Top Iranian officials including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stopped using the Telegram Messenger messaging application and started promoting domestic alternatives in advance of the April 18 ... more

China’s ZTE shares suspended after US hits company for breaking plea bargain over Iran exports

Chinese electronics giant ZTE Corp on April 17 was forced to halt trading of its shares in Hong Kong and Shenzen after the US slapped it with a seven-year ban on buying American-made chips ... more

Iran's black market phone disconnection drive pushes up legal mobile imports

Iran recorded non-black market mobile phone imports numbering 3.2mn handsets in the last Persian year (ended March 20), marking a 112% y/y gain, Tasnim News Agency reported on April 16. The sudden ... more

Dismiss