EghtesadOnline: France's Total has opened an office in Washington to strengthen relations with the US administration, as the French oil and gas company prepares to invest billions in Iran.
Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne confirmed Total opened a government relations office, telling Reuters “we should have done a long time ago”, Reuters reported. In July, Total became the first western energy firm to sign a deal with Iran since the easing of international sanctions in 2015, agreeing to develop Phase 11 of the South Pars offshore gas field with a total investment of $5 billion. But the future of the project was thrown into doubt after US President Donald Trump last month refused to certify Iran was complying with an international deal over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, leaving it to the US Congress to decide by mid-December whether to reimpose those US sanctions on Iran that had been lifted, according to Financial Tribune. For now, Total was continuing plans to develop the first phase of South Pars, estimated to cost $1 billion, Pouyanne said in London on Thursday.