Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says a multi-billion-dollar gas deal signed between Iran and French energy giant, Total, will facilitate the “transfer of technological, scientific and managerial experience” between Iran and France.
In a meeting with Total Chairman and Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne in Tehran on Monday, Rouhani said France enjoys a prominent position in the field of economy and energy technology.
“Signing and implementing this contract will be a positive step toward further expansion of economic and technological cooperation between the two countries,” the Iranian president added.
He noted that his administration sought to sign the landmark nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with the P5+1 group of countries in order to lay the ground for the enhancement of Iran’s economic cooperation with giant companies.
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the mammoth agreement in July 2015 and started implementing it in January 2016.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
“Fortunately, the existence of political will [both] on the Iranian side and among the P5+1 countries led to the agreement with Total,” Rouhani said.
The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and Total signed the contract, the first by a European firm in more than a decade, in Tehran on Monday to develop phase 11 of South Pars field, which is the world’s largest gas field.
According to Total, the project will have a production capacity of 2 billion cubic feet per day or 400,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day including condensate. Total added that the produced gas would supply the Iranian domestic market starting in 2021.
The first phase of the South Pars gas field development will cost around $2 billion, the giant French energy corporation said.
The Iranian president further stated that big foreign companies can invest in projects in Iran’s oil and gas sectors valued at around $200 billion.
Total seeks long-term ties with Iran
Pouyanne, for his part, stressed the importance of making efforts to implement the deal and expressed hope that it would prepare the ground for further cooperation among Iran and other European companies.
He called for bolstering cooperation between Iranian and European companies in various sectors, saying that Total had decided to boost long-term cooperation with Iran in the fields of gas, oil and petrochemicals.