TEHRAN, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh urged the French energy giant Total to keep confidential the information on two Iranian gas fields, Tasnim news agency reported on Wednesday.
The Islamic republic will sue Total if it is proved to have leaked secret information about Iran's South Pars gas field to Qatar, who shares the basin of gas reserves in the Persian Gulf with Iran, Zanganeh was quoted as saying.
Total is negotiating with Iran on developing the gas field, and Iran has given information to it about two out of the 30 phases of the South Pars gas field, he said.
Chief executive of the French company reportedly said earlier that Total plans to make a final decision on investing about 2 billion U.S. dollars in Iran's South Pars gas field, but the decision lingers on the prospect of renewal of tensions between Iran and the United States after Donald Trump took office last month.
"Total holds certain political consideration which we have conveyed to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affair, as the French company has announced its adherence to the European Union policies in case new sanctions are imposed against Iran," Zanganeh said, according to semi-official Fars news agency on Wednesday.
It was announced last Friday that Total has begun technical and executive studies for development of Phase 11 of Iran's South Pars gas field.
The managing director of the Pars Oil and Gas Company, Mohammad Meshkinfam, said that Total was preparing a conceptual design for offshore facilities of Phase 11.
"We are seeking the best option in order to prevent all possible lapses in conceptual studies," Meshkinfam said.
In November 2016, the National Iranian Oil Company and a consortium involving France's Total, China National Petroleum Corporation and Iran's Petropars signed a major deal to develop Iran's South Pars gas field.
The contract for the development of the gas field in the Persian Gulf region is worth 4.8 billion dollars.
The field is expected to produce as much as 56 million cubic meters per day of natural gas once it is in full swing.