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Iran's Gas Wealth Lures Total to Take Dose of Political Risk

  • Company makes $1 billion gas bet to get first-mover advantage
  • French firm sees more opportunities after easing of sanctions
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Total SA made a $1 billion bet on natural gas in Iran, swallowing a hefty dose of political risk in the hope of gaining first-mover advantage in the country with the world’s largest reserves.

The deal to develop phase 11 of the giant South Pars field is the first investment in Iran by an international energy company since sanctions were eased last year. Total expects it to open the way for further involvement in oil, gas and petrochemical projects there, said Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne.