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"Speaking to reporters ahead of a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Iran's oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said, 'We have no limitations for U.S. companies.' Asked who he would like to see return or enter Iran, he named European giants Total SA, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Eni SpA, Statoil ASA and BP PLC…'I am talking to some of them,' he said, without saying which." (Wall Street Journal, "Iran Wants U.S. Companies to Develop Oil Fields," 12/4/13)
"Iran’s oil ministry has opened contacts with western majors as the government of Hassan Rouhani tries to capitalise on progress in nuclear talks and encourage companies to prepare for an eventual lifting of sanctions. Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, the veteran oil minister who has returned to government after an eight-year absence, told the Financial Times he had held meetings with European companies and “indirectly” with US firms with a view to inviting them back to Iran. In his first interview with the foreign media, the minister who persuaded the likes of Total, Royal Dutch Shell, Eni and Statoil to invest in the oil and gas sector in the 1990s despite US sanctions, said these companies were now among those he was seeking to attract back to Iran…Some oil majors appear to be open to an Iranian approach. When asked last month if Total would return to Iran if sanctions were lifted, Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of the French energy group, replied: 'Of course.' Indeed, last month its head of exploration and production for the Middle East, Arnaud Breuillac, travelled to Tehran to meet the head of Iran’s national company, Rokneddin Javadi, reportedly telling him that Total would resume oil and gas operations in Iran as soon as sanctions were lifted." (Financial Times, "Iran opens contacts with oil groups," 11/26/13)
"The relaxation of sanctions on Iran promises an opening for international companies that have been sidelined from one of the Middle East's largest consumer markets…The deal is 'good news toward the normalization of the international [community's] relationships with Iran,' said a representative for Total SA, which ended talks with Iran over a big natural-gas project as European sanctions tightened over the past few years." (Wall Street Journal, "Iran Deal Has Western Firms Eager to Resume Business," 11/24/13)
"Iran is courting international energy giants such as Chevron Corp., Total SA and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, eager to attract Western investment back to the oil industry if it wins sanctions relief in its troubled nuclear talks with Western countries. Iranian officials involved in the overtures, who described the talks, said the country is eager to start re-establishing ties with Western companies to speed more substantial talks about investment if the world powers negotiating with Iran in Geneva reach an agreement. The outreach has been low key and in some cases, unsuccessful…Talking with Iranian officials isn't always a violation of sanctions. U.S. sanctions specifically prohibit discussions over possible investments in Iran for American companies. Many European companies have kept up contact with Iranian officials and executives over the years, even as they've ceased operations and meaningful dialogue about projects. In 2010, Total, Shell and Spain's Repsol SA pulled out of talks to enter a giant Iranian natural-gas development to comply with EU sanctions. According to two Iranian oil officials, the National Iranian Oil Co. has suggested recently to Total executives that it could assist in the final stages of that project—five development phases of the South Pars natural-gas field, now being developed by Iranian companies, are scheduled to be completed in the coming two years. 'They want to determine a framework for cooperation' with Total, said an official with Pars Oil & Gas Co., the state-controlled company overseeing the field. The official said the proposed efforts wouldn't involve large investments but would ensure Total a future foothold in Iran's oil-and-gas sector. The French company's vice president for the Middle East, Arnaud Breuillac, met last month with the head of NIOC, Roknoddin Javadi, at the state-company's Tehran headquarters, according to people familiar with the meeting. Mr. Breuillac has since been promoted to lead the company's overall exploration and production arm from Jan 1. In recent days, however, contacts between Iran and Total have chilled after Tehran accused Paris of scuttling a nuclear deal, Iranian oil officials said. Chevron, Total and Shell all said that they were complying with sanctions, or declined to comment on talks with Iranian officials or didn't respond to calls requesting comment. 'We'll go back to Iran when and if international sanctions are lifted,' a Total spokesman said." (Wall Street Journal, "Iran Courting Western Oil Companies in Case Sanctions Are Eased," 11/21/13)
"In anticipation of a thaw, Iran is preparing to capitalize on improved relations with the West. And to win skeptics over to the idea that crippling economic sanctions targeting Iran should be dropped, Tehran is floating a huge incentive -- the prospect of giving Western investors access to the country's vast oil and gas reserves. Western-friendly Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has been sending signals that the new spirit of openness being displayed by Iranian officials could extend to Iran's energy market…Christophe de Margerie, the chief executive of the French energy giant Total, told reporters that his company was eager to return to Iran if sanctions were eased and Tehran made energy contracts more lucrative." (Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, "Iran Floats Prospect Of Opening Energy Industry To West," 10/15/13).
"Peter Voser, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, and Christophe de Margerie, his counterpart at France’s Total, used the Oil & Money conference in London on Tuesday to highlight the potential energy windfall if sanctions preventing international oil companies from dealing with Tehran were lifted... He was echoed by Mr de Margerie, who said that he hoped doing business with Iran would again be permitted 'as soon as possible, not just for Total but for the world and for Iran. Any country cannot stay out of the system.' Before the tightening of sanctions against Iran a few years ago, Shell and Total were two of the most active companies doing business with the Islamic republic... The project was completed in 2005. Until 2009, Total was involved in the drawn-out development of Iran’s vast South Pars natural gas field, also in the Gulf’s waters." (The Telegraph, "Tapping Iran’s oil and gas vital for world demand, say Shell and Total," 10/1/2013)
"French energy giant Total will return to Iran, if international sanctions are lifted on petroleum exports, chief executive Christophe de Margerie said at an industry conference here on Tuesday. Questioned by reporters about whether the company would return to the Islamic republic, should sanctions be lifted, de Margerie replied: 'Of course.'The Total chief spoke at the Oil & Money conference, a key industry event which is held each year in the British capital…'Why, if Iran is back in the (international) community should we decide just ourselves that they are banned?' de Margerie told reporters. 'Today there is an embargo. This embargo is valid for everybody and we will wait for this embargo to be lifted.' De Margerie hoped that this would happen 'as soon as possible.' He added: 'Of course we will have to discuss the contractual terms. Just like any other country it will be just based on 'is it a win-win between them and us.' 'We like to be a long-term partner and we have long-term vision when we are doing long-term deals.'" (AP, "Total will return to Iran if sanctions lifted," 10/1/12)
"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).