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Iran sees gas deal with Total within weeks - minister

Reuters  |  DUBAI 

(Reuters) - expects to sign a long-delayed gas deal with French major in the next few weeks, Iranian Minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying on Saturday.

"and are summing up the discussions on signing the contract for the development of phase 11 of South Pars, and this is almost in the final stages," said Zanganeh, quoted by the ministry's website SHANA.

"The contract ... will be signed before the end of the (current) government," Zanganeh said.

Re-elected in May, President Hassan Rouhani is expected to form his new cabinet in August.

Total's chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said in late May that the company planned to conclude the South Pars gas deal before summer.

Separately, the state-run National Iranian Company (NIOC) said it had certified five more companies from Russia and Azerbaijan to bid for Iranian upstream projects.

"NIOC has added Russia's Gazprom Neft, Rosneft, Tatneft and Zarubezhneft and Azerbaijan's state-owned SOCAR, taking its list of pre-qualified companies to a of 34," NIOC said on its website.

In January, named 29 companies from more than a dozen countries as being allowed to bid for and gas projects using the new, less restrictive Petroleum Contract (IPC) model.

(Reporting by newsroom; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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