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"Iran is asking French oil giant Total SA (TOT) to resume refuelling its passenger aircraft and has even raised the question with the French president, an Iranian official said recently. The move underscores Iran's hopes that the election in May of a new French administration could lead to a thaw between the two countries. Iran asked French President Francois Hollande last month to intercede with Total over the refuelling of its aircraft. "He said he would look into it," the Iranian official said. Under Mr. Hollande's predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, France led a European push to tighten sanctions against Iran, culminating in a European Union embargo July 1. But the Islamic Republic hopes France will soften its stance under Mr. Hollande, who was elected in May. Tehran also appealed directly to Total's Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie for the resumption of refuelling of the national airline planes, the person said. A Total spokesperson confirmed the company had stopped 'deliveries of jet fuel to Iran Air in March 2011, due to the evolution of the relationship between Iran and the international community.'" (Fox News, "Iran Asks France's Total To Resume Refuelling Passenger Planes-Source," 8/21/12)
"French oil company Total SA booked a 316 million euro ($389 million) charge to its accounts on Friday to cover the likely cost of settlement with U.S. authorities over an investigation into corruption in Iran.
The investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice dates back to 2003, and is in connection with gas contracts awarded in the oil and gas producing Gulf country in the 1990s.
Total and its chief executive Christophe de Margerie, who was in charge of its Middle East division at the time, have been under investigation in France in connection with the same affair since 2006.
Western Europe's third largest oil industry player, Total has been talking to the U.S. authorities about an out of court settlement since 2010, and late last year, the SEC made a proposal that included fines, but was rejected by Total." (Reuters, "Total takes 316 mln euro charge for Iran graft probe," 7/27/12)
"Refiners in South Africa include Shell, BP, Total, Chevron, petrochemicals group Sasol , and Engen, majority-owned by Malaysian state oil group Petronas." (Reuters, "S.Africa keen to replace Iranian crude with Nigerian," 5/24/2012)
"Foreign firms dealing with Iran's oil and gas sector admit that severe Western sanctions are taking their toll on business, despite Tehran talking up its ambitions at the opening of an international industry exhibition this week. The International Oil, Gas, Refining and Petrochemical Exhibition, held in northern Tehran, was three-quarters filled by Iranian companies working at every level of the industry, from the biggest to ones involved in peripheral activities such as instruments, quality inspections and oil barrel manufacturing. There were 315 foreign stands, down from the 496 present at last year's trade show. Some of the biggest foreign companies that had been major partners in the industry, such as the Anglo-Dutch group Shell and Italy's ENI, were not present. Others, such as the China Petroleum Technology and Development Corporation, the French-Iranian joint venture Beh Total and Norway's Statoil, did have stands -- but representatives there told AFP they had been instructed by their bosses to give no comments at all to journalists." (Agence France-Press, "Foreign firms say times tough in Iran's energy sector," 4/18/12)
"French oil major Total SA stopped buying Iranian crude oil for its refineries and trading activities at the end of 2011, six months ahead of the effective implementation of a European embargo on Iran's oil, and has partly replaced it with oil from Saudi Arabia, Chief Financial Officer Patrick de la Chevardiere said Friday. Total's acknowledgment that it has substituted some Iranian crude oil with Saudi oil is the first such public comment by a major European oil company since the European Union decided last month to embargo Iranian oil. The company's previous Iranian crude-oil supply had been 'some heavy oil that was well suited for our French refineries,' and the substitution crude oil the group has found since it stopped buying from Iran is 'a bit more complicated to process,' Mr. de la Chevardiere said in an interview." (Wall Street Journal, "Total Looks to Saudis," 2/13/12)
"This year, 166 Chinese companies are present at the fair compared to 100 companies last year,' a senior oil ministry official said. 'The number of foreign companies are up 35 percent,' to 496 out of the total 1,550, he said. He said that despite UN sanctions and bilateral punitive measures by the United States and the European Union against Iran, 'Germany is present with 64 companies, Italy with 36, Britain with 37, Spain with 14, France with 15 and South Korea with 33 companies.' Major Western energy groups such as Total of France, Norwegian Statoil and OMV of Austria, who have withdrawn from Iran, made a 'symbolic' appearance at the fair." (AFP, "Chinese Firms Dominate Iran Oil Exhibition," 4/15/11)
"Total SA (TOT) and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) discreetly contacted Iranian authorities last week, seeking to reassure the Islamic Republic after telling the U.S. they have no plans for further investments for now, people familiar with the matter said in recent days. Total and Shell contacted Iran as the U.S. announced commitments by the companies "to terminate their investments and avoid any new activity in Iran's energy sector." The disclosure was made by the State Department in a Sept. 30 press release, which also said Statoil ASA (STO) and Eni SpA (E) had made similar commitments. Though the two companies are not breaching any sanctions in communicating with Iran, the contacts suggest they have not renounced their long-term ambitions in Iran, which hosts the world's second-largest natural gas resources and stands as the fourth-largest global oil exporter....Total and Shell still do some direct business with Iran, regularly buying crude oil from the Middle Eastern country. But the Anglo-Dutch oil company has come under pressure for the trades, which are not prohibited under European sanctions." (Wall Street Journal, "Total, Shell Keep Line Open With Tehran Despite US Claim," 10/8/2010)
"Open sources reported that Total sold gasoline to Iran in 2009 and 2010, but subsequently stopped in 2010." (U.S. Government Accountability Office, Report: "Firms Reported in Open Sources to Have Sold Iran Refined Petroleum Products between January 1, 2009 and June," September 3, 2010)
"On September 30th, Total made a "pledge to stop investing in Iran's energy sector" as a result of pressure from American sanctions (AP, "US hits Iranian energy firm with sanctions," 9/30/2010). However, Total has continued to purchase Iranian crude oil, claiming that the purchases are "not illegal under the latest United Nations sanctions" (Reuters, "Oil majors tell US still have some Iran dealings," 9/30/2010).
"An oil tanker named Front Page, chartered by Royal Dutch Shell PLC, left this port on March 17 and reported it was going to another U.A.E. port, then on to Saudi Arabia, ship-tracking data show.
But the tracking information reveals that Front Page also made an unreported stop—to the coast of Iran. There it loaded Iranian oil, according to records obtained by oil traders and shipping sources.
The incident, some oil-industry experts say, is an example of how some companies these days are hiding their business dealings with Iran, even when they are perfectly legal because they aren't subject to any sanctions.
Another oil tanker that stopped in Iran in March, which oil traders say was chartered by Total SA of France, turned off its tracking transponder throughout the visit, according to ship-tracking data...
Still, given all the controversy over Iran's nuclear program, many companies decline to discuss their Iranian oil purchases. Companies like Shell and BP have said they have stopped selling gasoline to Iran.
In the case of the Total-chartered vessel, an Iranian-owned tanker named Saveh, AIS data show it reported its destination as Kharg Island, an Iranian oil-export terminal, on Feb. 28." (The Wall Street Journal. "Oil Trade with Iran Thrives, Discreetly," 5/20/10)
"Total has long been a player in Iran's oil and gas development industry. A $2 billion investment in 1998 by a consortium it led in Iran's South Pars gas fields was deemed by the Clinton administration to violate the Iran Sanctions Act, but the president exercised his right to waive sanctions. More recently, Total announced a decision to hold off on future oil and gas development projects investments. But in February 2010 its chief executive, Christophe de Margerie, said that it once again had its eye on Iran's gas reserves, despite international pressure. "The balance of supply and demand in the world, notably for gas, depends also on Iran," he said in comments published in the French newspaper Le Monde. In the meantime, Total spokesperson Jim Floren confimed that the company continues to sell Iran gasoline, and maintains an office in Tehran." From 2000-2009, the company was the recipient of $1.1 billion US federal funds. Their business in Iran is currently active. They are potentially violators of the Iran Sanctions Act. (The New York Times, "Profiting from Iran, and the US," 3/6/2010)
"A senior Iranian energy official said on Monday the value of a possible new liquefied natural gas development deal with France's Total (TOTF.PA) had fallen to $7.5-8 billion, state broadcaster IRIB reported... Total declined to be drawn on the details of any possible deals in Iran. 'We have no comment to make. However, Iran remains a country of interest to us in the long term,' a Total spokeswoman said." (Reuters, "Iran sees possible Total deal worth $7.5-8 bln," 10/12/09)
"New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli also announced Tuesday the $110 billion fund would freeze an additional $300 million in seven other companies...The decision comes after two years of reviewing these companies, the potential risk of the investments and, in some cases, humanitarian efforts in these countries. 'We don't expect our investments to benefit regimes that support genocide and terrorism,' said DiNapoli...The fund also plans to monitor and prohibit further investment in ENI (E), Repsol YPF (REP), Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA), Total SA (TOT), ABB Ltd. (ABB), Alstom (ALO.FR) and Snam Rete Gas (SNMRY). Additionally, it plans to focus on other industries including telecommunications." (Wall Street Journal, "NY Comptroller To Divest $86.2M In State Pension Fund Investments," 6/30/09 and The Office of New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli)
"Because of a lack of domestic refining capacity, oil-rich Iran is dependent on gasoline imports to meet about 40 percent of domestic consumption. Iran gets most of its gasoline imports from the Swiss firm Vitol, the Swiss/Dutch firm Trafigura, France's Total, the Swiss firm Glencore and British Petroleum, as well as the Indian firm Reliance." (Agence-France Press, "US lawmakers target Iran gasoline imports," 6/23/09)
"Iranian Executive Director of the Continental Shelf Oil Company (Iranian national oil company) Mahmoud Zirkjian Alizada said on Friday that his company signed an agreement worth EURO 32 million with the French company Total to carry out support and planning operation in the Iranian Dorood three refinery." (Kuna News Agency, "Iran Oil company signs oil agreement with French Total, worth EURO 32 mln," 4/25/09)
"Nestle has been the target of protests by Islamists since the Gaza onslaught began, some Iranian websites said. It is among a small number of foreign companies which have factories in Iran, which notably also includes French automaker Renault. Others, such as South Korean group Samsung, market their products in the Islamic republic. Some, particularly in the oil and gas sector, have operated in the country for some time, such as Frances Total and Anglo-Dutch Shell." (Agence France Presse, "Iran to punish firms trading with Israel," 1/12/09)
"In recent months, Iran has, according to the respected trade publication International Oil Daily and other sources including the U.S. government, purchased nearly all of this gasoline from just five companies, four of them European: the Swiss firm Vitol; the Swiss/Dutch firm Trafigura; the French firm Total; British Petroleum; and one Indian company, Reliance Industries." (The Wall Street Journal, "How To Put The Squeeze On Iran," 11/13/08)
"State-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is negotiating the acquisition of a 25% stake in the Pars LNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project with the Iranian government. Under the terms of the deal French major Total would see its stake in Pars LNG reduced from 40% to 25%." (Middle East and Africa Oil and Gas Insights, "CNPC Looking At Pars LNG Deal," 10/1/08)
"The French oil company Total said it would pull out of a big investment in an Iranian gas field - a blow to Tehran, which is keen to exploit its gas reserves, and a victory for the Bush administration, which has been seeking to isolate Iran's government. A company spokeswoman said it was too risky to invest in Iran now." (Guardian, "US warning follows Iran missile tests," 7/18/08)
"Total, an energy giant, said this week it was giving up plans to invest in Iran because of the risk." (The Economist, "Coming to a city near you; Israel and Iran," 7/12/08)
"French energy group Total has said it is now too risky to invest in Iran. The company was planning to invest in a liquefied natural gas project linked to Irans South Pars gas field in the near future, but is now expected not to. The decision comes after weeks of increasing tension between Iran and Israel, which is destabilising the region." (The Daily Telegraph, "Total says Iran too dangerous for investment," 7/10/08)
"William Burns, U.S. Under Secretary of State for political affairs, pointed out that several big energy companies, including Total, Shell, ENI and Repsol, have scaled back their business in Iran over the past few years." (Reuters, "US to review if Statoil violates Iran sanctions law," 7/9/08)
"Total, Shell and Repsol of Spain are hanging back from signing contracts, which the Iranians are desperate for them to sign, said Simon Henderson, an oil expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy." (Associated Press, "Iran looks to tap key oil field with homegrown crews," 5/11/08)
"Gazprom, together with Frances Total and Malaysias Petronas, has already invested in phases 2-3 of massive South Pars gas field, a project worth around $2 billion." (Reuters, "Gazprom, Iran agree new large energy projects," 2/19/08)
Listed by U.S. Government as doing business in Iran. (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, List of Companies Doing Business With State Sponsors Of Terror, Removed from the Internet in July 2007)
"GIANTS WITH A FOOT IN TEHRAN: Total, Shell, Statoil, BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, MTN, UPS, Linde, Technip, Nokia, Ericsson, Peugeot, Renault, OMV, Societe Generale, ENI, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Siemens, LG, Samsung, Bosch, Valeo, Nestle, Unilever, BAT, Japan Tobacco." (The London Times, "American pressure threatens UK firms," 5/27/06)
Total has announced its plans to halt new investment in Iran, as a result of rising political pressure. (“Iran, Sanctions and the Memo,” The New York Times, April 19, 2010)
Total also stated it will end gasoline sales to Iran if U.N. passes sanctions bill is passed by the U.N. (“Total to end Iran fuel sale if sanctions approved,” Daily Times, April 27, 2010)
In June 2010, Total confirmed that it had suspended gasoline sales to Iran in the wake of American and EU sanctions ("Total Halts Gas Sales to Iran," Wall Street Journal, 6/28/2010).