In the past year, Iran has nearly doubled gas output at the South Pars gas field, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told state media on March 19, according to Reuters.
Rouhani stated that gas production increased from 285 million cubic meters (mcm) to 555 mcm in the past Iranian calendar year, which started in late March 2017.
“We did not have the need to purchase gas from any country this year for them to try to be fickle or raise prices,” Rouhani proclaimed.
Total is currently the majority stakeholder of the gas field with 50.1%, Chinese state oil and gas company CNCP holds 30%, and Petropars, a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Co., holds 19.9%.
However, with US President Donald Trump considering re-imposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic, Total’s continued control of South Pars remains up in the air. “Our intent is to do all that we can to execute the contract that we signed… We have good arguments to explain…This contract, it is a contract for domestic gas to help the people in Iran. It is not an export contract,” Total CEO, Patrick Pouyanne, commented on Total’s possible attempts to keep their contract if sanctions are imposed.
In November 2017, Reuters reported that if Total pulls out of Iran to comply with any new US sanctions, China’s CNCP would consider taking over Total’s stake in the South Pars gas field. The $1 billion deal Total signed gave CNCP the option to take over if Total’s stake is pulled out.