Iran has allowed the French energy giant Total to start the development of a key gas project in the country in a move that will be closely watched by other foreign companies wary of antagonizing the US, which bans investments in the Islamic Republic, Press TV reported.
In July, Total inked an agreement worth $4.8 billion to develop the South Pars Phase 11 gas field together with China’s CNPC and Iran’s Petropars following months of indecision over the need to wait for US President Donald Trump’s new policy towards Iran.
The decision to go ahead with the South Pars Phase 11 gas field will make the French energy giant the first major Western company to invest in Iran’s energy sector following the lifting of international sanctions against the country in 2016.
Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné had previously said he was ready to take the risks.
“We knew when we signed that it would not be an easy road, but I prefer to have a problem to solve and to have the opportunity rather than having not signed [and] no opportunities,” Total CEO Pouyanné told reporters in October.