Iran's official IRNA news agency is reporting that China's state-owned petroleum corporation has taken a majority share of the country's South Pars gas project after French oil and gas company Total announced it would pull out because renewed USA economic sanctions against Iran.
IRNA earlier quoted Mostafavi as saying CNPC had taken over Total's share in Iran's multi-billion dollar South Pars gas project.
"The roles of each consortium member over the development of Phase 11 are based on the contract and Total has not officially withdrawn from it so as to create any changes", he told Shana news agency of Iran's Ministry of Petroleum. The second wave that would hit in November would ban investments in Iran's oil and gas projects. Total declined to comment. Total has until November 4 to wind down its Iranian operations.
The renewed U.S. sanctions were among those lifted under a 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran on curbing Iran's nuclear programme.
Under the deal, Iran agreed to take steps to limit its nuclear program, and to submit to verification by the International Atomic Energy Agency in return for economic sanctions relief.
Scores of European companies, including Total, have withdrawn from the oil-rich Persian Gulf country since the US reversal.
Iran, which holds the world's largest natural-gas reserves, shares South Pars, also known as the North Dome field, with neighbouring Qatar.
Total, had previously withdrawn from South Pars in 2009 because of sanctions.
Total signed a contract in 2017 to develop Phase 11 of South Pars field with an initial investment of $1 billion, marking the first major Western energy investment in the country after sanctions were lifted in 2016. At the time, Total said the contract was for 20 years. "It's impossible for a company like ours, and for most or even all global companies, even maybe the Chinese".
CNPC has been active in Iran since 2004, operating in oil, gas and oil-field services, according to the company's website.