Iran’s oil minister said Sunday that China’s CNPC has withdrawn from the development of an offshore gas field. The state-owned Petropars will take over the entire project. The South Pars gas field was to be developed jointly by France’s Total, China National Petroleum Corporation and Petropars under a USD 4.8-billion (4.1 billion-euro) deal signed in July 2017.
“Phase 11 (of South Pars) will be entirely developed by Petropars company,” Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh was quoted as saying by the ministry’s official website.
Asked whether CNPC International had abandoned the project, Zanganeh said: “Yes, they have”.
Petropars signed a USD 440 million agreement in September with another state-owned firm, Pars Oil and Gas Company, to develop the Balal field in the Gulf.
This comes at a time when United States has imposed sanctions on Iran’s sovereign wealth fund, whose board of trustees includes President Hassan Rouhani, as well as Etemad Tejarate Pars, a company that the Treasury Department said had sent money internationally on behalf of Iran’s defence ministry.
Last year, the relations between Washington and Tehran soared after US President Donald Trump pulled out of a nuclear accord with Iran, negotiated under former president Barack Obama.
Earlier, Trump while addressing the UNGA had already ruled out any possibility of easing economic pressure on Iran. Tensions between Iran and US ratcheted up after the Trump administration announced that it would unilaterally force all countries to stop buying Iran’s oil, which is its major export.