Zangeneh leaves Tehran for Beijing

SHANA — Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh left Tehran on Monday to weigh up Iran-China cooperation in oil and gas industry.

Zangeneh is accompanying Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in the visit.

Earlier this week, he had said he would hammer out the South Pars Phase 11 deal with China’s CNPC International.

The official said he would consider the latest status of a 2017 deal with the Chinese company for development of the project in Persian Gulf waters.

The 11th phase of the South Pars contract was signed between National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and a consortium of France’s Total, China’s CNPC International and Petropars Company in Tehran on July 3, 2017.

Based on the $4.879 billion deal, Total was operator of the SP11 project with a 50.1% interest, in partnership with Chinese state-owned oil and gas company CNPC (30%), and NIOC subsidiary Petropars (19.9%).

SP11 is to be developed in two phases. The first phase, set to cost around $2 billion, comprises 30 wells and two wellhead platforms connected to existing onshore treatment facilities by two subsea pipelines.

Depending on reservoir conditions as production progresses, offshore compression facilities could be added, a first on the South Pars field.

Following US’s imposition of sanctions on Tehran following a May decision by Washington to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, Total announced it would no longer stay in the SP. 11 contract and its stocks were automatically transferred to the Chinese side of the deal as it is stipulated in the contract.

Zangeneh said, since Total’s pullout, the Chinese company had not done anything specific regarding the contract.

He also said that phase III of Bandar Abbas Gas Condensate Refinery (also called the Persian Gulf Star Refinery) would come on-stream by Monday this week.

The refinery is the largest consumer of gas condensate in Iran with a total production capacity of 36 million liters/day of gasoline.