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Iran Signs Major Gas Deal WIth France's Total

A unit of Iran's South Pars gas field (file photo)

Iran has signed a deal with French energy firm Total to develop a major offshore gas field, Tehran's first major contract with a Western energy firm since the lifting of international sanctions.

In a statement on November 8, Total said it will lead a consortium including China National Petroleum Corporation and Iran's Petropars to develop Phase 11 of South Pars, the world's largest gas field.

Stephane Michel, the firm's head of Middle East exploration and production, said there would be a total investment of $4.8 billion. The development and operation of the project was due to last 20 years.

Michel said a memorandum of understanding was signed in Tehran on November 8 and the final agreement would be signed early next year.

Iran’s has accelerated efforts to rejuvenate its energy industry since economic sanctions were eased in January following a nuclear deal with world powers that curbed the country's controversial nuclear program.

In 2012, Total pulled out of Iran when France joined European Union partners in imposing sanctions on the Islamic republic.

Based on reporting by AFP and Total Press Release