The Iranian oil minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, said an Iranian drilling company is set to take over drilling project in phase 11 of the country’s South Pars project as French company Total and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) dropped out of the project, according to Tasnim new agency.

In July of 2017, Total signed a $1 billion deal to develop the South Pars gas field in cooperation with China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) and Iran’s PetroPars. However, the companies have pulled out of the deal in light of the US sanctions.

Mr Zanganeh said it is a high priority to complete the South Pars gas field projects and added that completion of 17 phases of the field will lead to production of 750 million cubic meters of gas (mctg).

The Oil Ministry also said that he expects to bring 17 petrochemical plants into operation this year, suggesting that the new plants will produce $6 billion worth of new products.