DUBAI Feb 15 Iran's oil minister has criticised
French oil company Total for its decision to delay
signing a contract to develop a gas field in southern Iran,
saying that the reasons given by Total's chief executive were
"unacceptable" to Tehran.
Total was the first Western energy company to sign a major
deal with Tehran since the lifting of international sanctions
with its South Pars 11 project in the Gulf to develop a part of
the world's largest gas field that Iran shares with Qatar.
Total's chief executive, Patrick Pouyanne, said last week
that it aimed to make a final investment decision on the $2
billion project by the summer, but the decision hinges on the
renewal of U.S. sanctions waivers.
"I don't know why Total has said so," Bijan Zanganeh was
quoted as saying by Mehr news agency on Wednesday.
"It's been included in the contract that we all follow
European Union's policies. Their comments are unacceptable," he
U.S. President Donald Trump has called into doubt the Western
powers' deal with Iran over its nuclear technology development
programme and, responding to an Iran's ballistic missile test
last month, imposed fresh sanctions on Tehran.
The South Pars 11 project aims to produce 1.8 billion cubic
feet a day of gas, equivalent to 370,000 barrels of oil. The
produced gas will be fed into Iran's gas network.
(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Greg Mahlich)