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Iran’s Oil Development in Defiance of US Sanctions

Iran’s oil minister said the country remains resolute in the development of its oil industry with the newly inaugurated phase of the South Pars gas field in the face of US sanctions, according to Iranian News Agency (IRNA).

Bijan Zanganeh said that sanctions would not stop the development of Iran's oil industry during the inauguration ceremony of the facility at the South Pars Field's Phase 11.

He said an extra 50 million cubic meters of gas would be provided from the new facility of the South Pars Field, which had an initial gas production capacity of 280 million cubic meters in 2013 and which was later increased to 700 million cubic meters.

"Our message is that we are not stopped by sanctions," the oil minister reiterated.

In 2015, National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) signed a contract with a consortium of French energy company Total, China’s national petroleum company CNPC and Iranian national oil company Petropars to develop the offshore project in Persian Gulf waters.

Following the US' withdrawal from the nuclear deal in May 2018, CNPC pulled out of the Phase 11 development last year and Total left Iran, also pulling out of the contract.

On May 16, 2018, Total announced that it would "not be in a position to continue" the project in Iran and would "have to unwind all related operations before Nov. 4, 2018 unless the company was granted a specific project waiver by the US authorities with the support of the French and European authorities.”

(Anadolu Agency, May 22, 2020)

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