29 July 2015, News Wires – French player Total is preparing to jump back into developing fields in Iran, according to local reports in the Middle Eastern country.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zaganeh said after a meeting with France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius that the two countries will “enter into a new chapter of co-operation”, state news agency Shana reported.
According to the report, Zaganeh said Total will make to make the move, after sanction on Iran will be lifted.
“A new chapter of co-operation with the French company Total will begin to develop Iranian oilfields,” Shana quoted Zanganeh as saying following the meeting.
“Today’s talks about oil and energy were very positive and I hope the results will also be satisfactory,” Shana quoted Fabius as saying.
Following the nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1 countries earlier this month, which is still due for approval by the US Congress, Fabius was in Tehran for a one-day visit in which he met senior ministers.
He also conveyed an invitation from French President Francois Hollande to his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani to visit Paris in November.
France used to have a strong presence in Iran before the sanctions went into effect, with Total heavily involved in the oil sector and Peugeot and Renault being major players in the Iranian auto industry.
However, after the latest set of sanctions was imposed on Iran, the companies withdrew from the market in 2005/2006.
Since a deal was announced earlier this month, reports from Iran suggest that the country is now planning $185 billion-worth of oil and gas projects by 2020, with around $2 billion already approved following negotiations with several European countries.
Total was active in developing Iranian oil projects for more than 20 years before the sanctions, and the company has gone on record saying that it is interested in returning, however, no projects have so far been announced.
The company was unavailable for immediate comment when contacted by Upstream.