Iranian Oil Minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said that Iran expects to sign a long-delayed gas deal with French oil major Total in the next few weeks, reported Reuters.

“Iran and Total are summing up the discussions on signing the contract for the development of phase 11 of South Pars, and this is almost in the final stages,” said Zanganeh.

Re-elected in May, Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, is expected to form his new cabinet in August.

In addition, Total’s chief executive, Patrick Pouyanne, said in late May that the company planned to conclude the South Pars gas deal before summer, New York Times stated.

Separately, the state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said it had certified five more companies from Russia and Azerbaijan to bid for Iranian upstream energy projects. “NIOC has added Russia’s Gazprom Neft, Rosneft , Tatneft and Zarubezhneft and Azerbaijan’s state-owned SOCAR, taking its list of pre-qualified companies to a total of 34,” NIOC stated.