Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 11 / Trend D.Khatinoglu/
Chinese company's activity in North Pars oil and gas field has been suspended, Pananews reported quoting Director of Pars Gas and Oil Company Mussa Souri as saying.
Iran was dissatisfied with CNPCI's frequent delaying of Phase 11 of South Pars development. Iranian officials have even given ultimatum against this company.
Earlier, Iran's Oil Ministry Rostam Ghasemi 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 will restore activities of China's National Petroleum Corporation (CNPCI) at North Pars field when China demonstrates intensive activity at developing the Phase 11 of South Pars field.
"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.