“Total has 60 days to negotiate with the US government,” said Bijan Zanganeh, according to the oil ministry’s Shana news agency.
“The French government too can have negotiations with the US government during these 60 days for Total to stay in Iran.” Total was the only western firm to finalise an investment deal in Iran’s energy sector following the 2015 nuclear deal, from which Washington withdrew earlier this month.
It signed the agreement last July to become the lead partner in a USD 4.8 billion (4.1 billion euro) project to develop the South Pars 11 gas field, alongside the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Iran’s Petropars.
But after Washington quit the deal and pledged to fully reimpose sanctions by November, Total has said it will be impossible to continue unless it gets a specific waiver from Washington.
If the French firm fails to win an exemption, CNPC “will replace Total in this project,” Zanganeh said.