Iran’s parliament forms committee to review gas deal with France’s Total: MP

Tasnim – The spokesman for the Iranian parliament’s Energy Commission announced on Saturday that a special committee headed by Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has been formed to review a controversial $5 billion gas deal recently signed with France’s energy giant Total.

Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Asadollah Qarakhani said a special committee comprised of the experts, the chairman of the Energy Commission, and the head of the parliaments’ Research Center has been established to examine the contract with the Total.

The parliamentarian added that Larijani also heads the committee and monitors its activities.

The formation of the committee 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 earlier 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.