French oil giant in talks with Iran

An ominous sense of deja vu. The US invasion of Iraq and rift with France immediately preceded new oil deals between Saddam and the French giant Total. (Seee WW4 REPORT #56) Now, just as Bush is rattling the sabre and hurling WMD accusations at Iran, comes this:

LONDON, March 14 (IranMania) – French state-run Gaz de France is in talks with French oil giant Total and Iranian authorities over participating in a huge liquefied natural gas (LNG) project there, Les Echos daily reported Tuesday.

Letters of intent were signed in December between the interested parties with a view to reaching agreement by summer, the French economic daily said in a front-page report.

Tehran indicated late last month that Total, the Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell and Spanish firm Repsol would soon sign contracts with Iran to develop two phases of the Islamic republic’s offshore South Pars gas field.

Total will be working on a project called Pars LNG, while Shell and Repsol will be working on another project under the name Persian LNG. The firms will be operating jointly with the National Iranian Oil Company, AFP said.

Investment for each phase has been estimated at between1 . 2and $1. 5bln.

Under its commercial plan, Gaz de France (GDF) is seeking long term to negotiate the purchase of between1 .5-2. 5million tonnes of LNG per year.

It envisages taking eight to10 % of one of the huge sectors of the gas field and4 -5% of a LNG factory also in Iran.

GDF’s projected investment is estimated at $250- 350mln, the paper said.

See our last posts on Iran and France.