Total Hands Over Operatorship of Balal to NIOC

Total says that the Iranian Balal offshore field has reached a production level of 40,000 barrels of oil per day and that with the achievement of the relevant training programs, the operatorship of the Production and Living Quarters Platform has been transferred to the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) on August 27, 2003 as planned in the contract.

The Balal Field is near Iran's Lavan Island in the Persian Gulf and first entered into production in January 2003. Production is exported from the offshore platform using facilities operated by the NIOC (subsea pipeline and processing facilities on Lavan Island).

The field was developed under a "buy-back" contract signed with the NIOC and a partnership made up of Total with a 46.75% interest, Eni (38.25%) and Bow Valley (15%).