09:201396/8/16Total officially permitted to initiate Iran projectTEHRAN (NIOC) _ French energy giant Total received work permits for its foreign staff from Iran – a move that has officially put the company in gear to start the development of a major gas field in the country.
The employees for whom the work permits were issued included directors as well as experts.
The Ministry added in its statement that the offshoot of the French company had been officially registered as Total Iran BV in Tehran last month.
The company would focus on investments in upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of Iran’s oil and gas industries.
In early July, Total signed an agreement worth $4.8 billion over the development of South Pars Phase 11 in cooperation with China’s CNPC and Iran’s Petropars.
The decision to sign the deal followed months of deliberations by the French energy giant who had said would need to wait for the policies of US President Donald Trump toward Iran before moving ahead with the development of South Pars Phase 11.
Total would be the first major Western enterprise to invest in Iran’s energy sector after the removal of sanctions against the country in 2016.
The company has said it would coordinate closely with the US government over its Iran plans and has to the same effect opened a governmental relations office in Washington.
The company’s chief Patrick Pouyanné had previously said he knew Total would have a bumpy road ahead over its Iran investment plans but emphasized that he was ready to take the risks.
“We knew when we signed that it will not be an easy road,” Pouyanné was quoted by media as saying last month. “But I prefer to have a problem to solve and to have the opportunity rather than having not signed [and] no opportunities.”