Iranian spokesman hails gas deal with France’s Total as ‘Unparalleled’

Tasnim – Spokesman for the Iranian Administration Mohammad Baqer Nobakht praised the $5 billion gas deal recently signed between Iran and France’s energy giant Total, saying the investment project would be highly profitable for the country.

The project will generate $85 billion of income in a 20-year period, Nobakht told reporters at his weekly press conference in Tehran on Tuesday.

He added that $12 billion of the income would go to the foreign investors and the rest would belong to Iran.

“This has been an unparalleled contract since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and is highly praised.”

The comments came as some parliamentarians, experts and top figures in oil and gas industry have voiced their strong opposition to the gas deal, saying Total has hatched “a sinister plot” against the Islamic Republic.

Total and China’s National Petroleum Company (CNPC) struck the $5 billion agreement with Iran on July 3.

The agreement was signed at a ceremony in Tehran attended by Zangeneh, Total’s CEO Patrick Pouyanne and senior officials from China’s CNPC and Iran’s Petropars.

Total holds a 50.1 interest in the South Pars project with state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation owning 30 percent and Iran’s Petropars 19.9 percent.

The development of Phase 11 of the South Pars project will cost up to $5 billion.

The vast offshore gas field is shared between Iran and Qatar, where Total is also a major player in gas production as well as in oil and refining. Tehran calls the giant field South Pars while Doha calls it the North Field.