TOTAL wants to give up Iran’s major project without exemption from US sanctions

total iranThe French oil company TOTAL wants to withdraw from a billion dollar deal with Iran, if he gets from the US no exemption from the announced sanctions.

TOTAL will then be unable to continue the project to develop the South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf, the company announced on Wednesday. It would then have to do all business before 4 November. The project also involves the Chinese oil company PetroChina .

US President Donald Trump had canceled the nuclear deal with Iran last week. The suspended US economic sanctions against the country are expected to come back into force shortly, which may also affect non-US companies.

The French company argued that it could not afford to be exposed to secondary sanctions. TOTAL identified potential problems as being the loss of US dollar financing of its worldwide operations by American banks, the loss of its US shareholders, or the inability to continue its US operations.

The contract, signed in July of last year, was Iran’s first major energy deal with a Western corporation after the 2015 nuclear deal. According to TOTAL, the first phase saw costs of $ 2 billion (€ 1.7 billion). At the time, Tehran had estimated the deal at around five billion dollars.

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