|Iran suspends gas deal with China’s CNPCI||
TEHRAN — Iran has temporarily suspended the gas deal with a Chinese company for its repeated delays over the project, the managing director of Pars Oil and Gas Company said on Tuesday.
Mousa Souri told the Mehr news agency that the Chinese company, China's National Petroleum Corporation (CNPCI), has delayed frequently in operating the development plan of Phase 11 of South Pars gas field, while the deal has been signed 27 months ago.
Iran was dissatisfied with CNPCI's frequent delaying of Phase 11 of South Pars development. Iranian officials have even given ultimatum against this company.
Since the other Chinese company, CNOOC, has signes the deal with Iran over developing the North Pars gas field, implementation of this deal is depend on the development movement of Phase 11 of South Pars gas field.
Iran will restore activities of CNOOC at North Pars field when China demonstrates intensive activity at developing the Phase 11 of South Pars field, Souri added.
Earlier, Iran's Oil Ministry Rostam Qasemi asked Chinese CNPCI to develop phase 11 of the giant South Pars gas field in a 35-month period with a warning that otherwise, domestic or foreign contractors would replace it.
"Iran's first priority is developing the South Pars field and we respect our contracts (with foreign companies), but China should boost its activity at South Pars first to be permitted to continue working at North Pars," Souri said.
Iran and Chinese CNOOC Company signed a $15 billion contract in September 2006 to develop North Pars field, but China has not started operational activities of this project yet.
CNPC has won a $4.7 billion contract to develop Phase 11 of the South Pars gas project in 2009. The Chinese company replaced Total SA, which had hesitated because of political concerns.
The South Pars gas field is shared by Iran and Qatar. The Iranian share, which is divided into 29 phases, has about 14 trillion cubic meters of gas, or about eight percent of the total world reserves, and more than 18 billion barrels of liquefied natural gas resources.
Iran has the world's second largest natural gas reserves after Russia.
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