04 July, 2017
Global oil companies have been slow to re-enter Iran following a landmark deal with world powers in 2015 that lifted many Western sanctions on Tehran.
Officials met in Tehran and signed the agreement, which will see the firms develop a portion of the massive South Pars offshore field that Iran shares with Qatar.
At each stage, 2.4 billion USA dollars of foreign fund will be allocated for the project, the minister said, adding that Total will operate the SP11 project with a 50.1 interest alongside CNPC with 30 percent and Petropars with 19.9 percent.
He also held out a hand to U.S. oil companies, saying his country needs some 200 billion dollars (£153 billion) of investments in its oil industry in the next five years to make up for time lost during sanctions.
Royal Dutch Shell and Italy's Eni have provisional agreements with Tehran to help develop other parts of Iran's oil and gas industry.
Persian Gulf in South Pars Area.
Monday's signing would mark Total's return to Iran, which had the second-largest gas reserves and fourth-largest oil reserves in the world.
Iran holds the world's largest gas reserves, estimated by BP Plc at 1,183 trillion cubic feet (33 trillion cubic meters), and is the third-biggest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.More news: Sports Minister: Seoul Mulls Co-Hosting 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics With N Korea
Total's Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne, left, with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in January 2016.
His administration took a tough line on Iran and imposed fresh sanctions related to its ballistic missile programme and military activities in the region.
South Pars 11 will be developed in two phases.
Those companies do more business in the US, where President Donald Trump has said he would re-examine the deal that lifted Western sanctions on Iran past year, said Homayoun Falakshahi, a research analyst at energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie. "We're very happy", Pouyanne told AFP when the initial deal was signed in November.
The first stage of the project will cost around $2 billion and consists of 30 wells and two wellhead platforms connected to existing onshore treatment facilities.
"Signing and implementing this contract will be a positive step toward further expansion of economic and technological cooperation between the two countries", the Iranian president added.
Iran's oil output has jumped 1.2 million barrels a day to 3.9 million barrels a day since sanctions were lifted.
Trump's administration has taken a tough line on Iran and imposed new US sanctions related to its ballistic-missile program and military actions in the region.