April 30 (UPI) — One person is dead after a hydrogen sulfide leak was reported at an onshore processing unit tied to the South Pars gas field, the Iranian government said.
Aside from crude oil, Iran, one of the leading producers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has some of the largest deposits of natural gas in the world. Its South Pars field, which it shares with Qatar, is among the biggest in the world.
Fatollah Norouzi, a governor from Bushehr province along Iran’s southern coast, said one person was dead and another was injured following the leak.
“When doing maintenance job, workers encountered the leak; two of them were poisoned; one of them lost his life,” he was quoted as saying Monday by the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
Iran has tried to bring foreign investors into the South Pars complex. It was courting French energy major Total for developments, but shied away after the company took over Danish rival Maersk Oil.
For natural gas, Iran has long tried to get more of its resources into the open market, holding them out as a possible option for diversification for a European energy sector that depends heavily on Russia for its natural gas. Questions linger over the Iranian energy sector, however, as U.S. President Donald Trump is widely expected to take the steps that would dismantle the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the deal that gives Iran relief from sanctions in exchange for a commitment to peaceful nuclear research.
Speaking during the weekend with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, newly-minted U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Trump sees the JCPOA as deeply flawed.
“He’s directed the administration to try and fix it, and if we can’t fix it, he’s going to withdraw from the deal,” he said. “It’s pretty straightforward.”