Total poised to pull out of Iran's SP11 project without USA waiver

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French oil major Total said Wednesday it will end work on a major gas field project in Iran unless it is exempt from U.S. sanctions against Tehran that the Trump administration is phasing back in.

SP11 is a gas development project dedicated to the supply of domestic gas to the domestic Iranian market and for which Total has voluntarily implemented an IRGC-free policy for all contractors participating in the project, thereby contributing to the worldwide policy to restrain the field of influence of the IRGC.

Background: Despite the USA withdrawal, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met with European Union leaders on May 15 to discuss how to circumvent US sanctions in an effort to salvage the nuclear deal.

It added that as a outcome, "Total will not continue the SP11 project and will have to unwind all related operations before 4 November 2018, unless Total is granted a specific project waiver by U.S. authorities with the support of the French and European authorities".

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United States banks are involved in more than 90% of Total?s financing operations, Total said, adding that U.S. assets represent more than $10 billion of capital employed and that 30% of its shareholders are in the US.

Total also confirmed it is lobbying authorities in both Paris and Washington for a waiver to the USA sanctions which are due to come into effect November 5.

TOT says it has spent less than 40M so far on the project and that a withdrawal would not affect its 5% compound annual growth rate target during 2016-22.

The total project, which also involves China 's CNPC and Iranian company Petropars, is estimated to be around $2 billion for the first phase.

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