ibusinesslines.com September 21, 2018

France's Total will quit Iran gas project if no sanctions waiver

17 May 2018, 09:48 | Kelvin Horton

EU moves to block US sanctions on Iran

Europe to exempt its firms from US sanctions on Iran

French oil major Total has halted plans to help develop Iran's giant South Pars gas field as it seeks to clarify whether the investment can avoid falling foul of returning USA sanctions on Tehran, the oil company said Wednesday.

Total said it could not afford to breach the looming USA sanctions against Iran due to its reliance on American banks and shareholders.

In an ironic twist, Trump's decision to threaten European companies that continue to invest in Iran may open the door to Chinese rivals.

The project waiver should include protection of the Company from any secondary sanction as per USA legislation, it added.

Gas Market Report is the leading news source on the gas industry markets, delivering vital first-of-the-month gas prices for more than 40 pipeline locations and a number of key market centers.

The administration of President Donald Trump is phasing back in sanctions after his withdrawal last week from the Iran nuclear deal. "They have us by the throat because so much business is conducted and cleared in dollars", one European investment banker said.

Total said the South Pars project puts at risk the company's large operations in the United States and reliance on USA banks for financing of 90 percent of its operations. The U.S. Treasury has given companies up to 180 days to end dealings with Iran.

SP11 is the biggest proposed project between an worldwide oil company and Iran and if Total withdraws, it will likely deal a significant blow to Tehran.

Total's announcement comes after German insurer Allianz and Danish oil product tanker operator Maersk Tankers said they were winding down their businesses in Iran.

The 28 European Union leaders meeting in Sofia said they did not make any quick decisions on how to try to shield their businesses so they can keep operating in Iran.

Total's position shows how hard it will be for European powers to safeguard their interests inIran and offer guarantees to save the nuclear deal.

But their efforts are undermined by the global reach of the US financial system, the dominance of the USA dollar, and the value to most European companies of the vital markets they have cultivated in the United States.

They also want to persuade Tehran the 2015 deal - which lifted earlier sanctions on the Islamic Republic in exchange for it curbing its nuclear ambitions - is worth sticking to.

But Mogherini said the European Union would make every effort to maintain business ties with Tehran and ensure that Tehran can continue to sell its oil around the world.

"It would be suicide to do any new business or funding for Iran or Iran-related companies without explicit guarantees from the U.S. government".

Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said the French firm would not pay a penalty if it pulled out of the project.

"The current situation will pass and Iran will emerge as a victor", the oil ministry's news agency SHANA quoted Zanganeh as saying.

Other News

Trending Now

Pennsylvania Voters Head To Polls For Primary Election
OR voters appear on track to show their lowest turnout in a primary election in at least 16 years, ballot statistics indicate. That translates to 14.74 percent total voter turnout, compared to four years ago when 18.11 percent of voters cast ballots.

Tencent blows past estimates as WeChat, games drive growth
Net profits increased 65% year-on-year to reach $3.82 billion on revenues of $11.7 billion in the three months to end of March. The gross profit margin in the quarter was more than 50 per cent, higher than the 47 per cent expected by analysts.

Trump to host Californians critical of state's immigration policies at White House
Sessions said the Justice Department would be adding immigration judges and prosecuting twice as many immigration cases this year. County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar speaks to President Trump while the President's advisor Stephen Miller listens.

Bucks hire former Atlanta head coach Mike Budenholzer as new head coach
Atlanta dropped to 24-58 this season, with the organization's mandate to shed salary and gather draft picks and future assets. Budenholzer spent 17 years as an assistant under Spurs coach Gregg Popovich before his hiring in Atlanta in 2013.

Valtteri Bottas tops second morning of in-season test
We would then have a true qualifying tyre, which forces a short first stint in the race and, therefore, a two-stop strategy. Ferrari and Red Bull are both hot on their heels and the battle between the 3 teams will be fierce.

Galaxy Note 9 and S10 Will Launch Early + Galaxy X Surprise
Korean media are now reporting that not only will the Galaxy Note 9 be launched earlier this year, so will the Galaxy S10 . Samsung is reportedly " dumbing down " the design of the foldable smartphone to be able to finally launch the device.

Florida teacher investigated after animals allegedly drowned in class
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is looking into how the raccoons were killed, according to a spokesman. In March, a junior high biology teacher in Idaho reportedly fed a puppy to a snapping turtle in front of students.