Iran has given China’s oil giant, CNPCI, three months to meet its obligations regarding a massive oil field in Iran or face expulsion from the project, an Iranian deputy oil minister says.
“The Chinese have to step up their activities by this deadline. Of course, this issue could be also followed up legally,” Emad Hosseini said on Sunday.
China National Petroleum Corporation International (CNPCI) signed a deal with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) seven years ago for the development of South Azadegan oil field.
Hosseini said the performance of the Chinese party in the development of the field, which Iran shares with neighboring Iraq, is “indefensible.”
In February, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said no major progress has been observed in South Azadegan.
Abdolreza Haji Hossein-Nejad, managing-director of the Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC), also said the Chinese company has drilled only seven out of the promised 185 wells, adding, “Production from this joint field is still standing at around 50,000 barrels per day (bpd).”
Iraq is currently recovering 175,000 bpd of oil from its sector of this field and plans to raise its output to 400,000 bpd.
Last August, NIOC replaced China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) with the Iranian company, Petropars Ltd. (PPL), for the development of Phase 11 of the massive offshore South Pars gas field.
CNPC initially agreed with NIOC in 2009 to develop the only South Pars phase whose fate had not been decided.
Following the implementation of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers in January, oil giants from the United States and major European countries have shown willingness to take up projects in Iran.