China Warned Against Delaying Gas Deal
12/25/2012 9:14:24 AM
China has strengthened its economic relationship with Iran despite the western sanctions. But Iran has accused China of failing to fulfill its commitment and delaying its contractual obligations. 
South Pars, a huge offshore natural gas field shared between Iran and Qatar, holds around 14 trillion cubic meters of gas, and Iran plans to use the “phase 11” project to fill its first-ever liquefied natural gas plant. 
Mehr named China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the Asian giant’s largest oil and gas producer and supplier, as the company contracted for the project. 
Iran suspended a $16-billion contract with China last year for the North Pars gas field, saying the decision to let the Chinese develop North Pars rested on their effectiveness in developing South Pars. 
Nikzad said that should the South Pars contract be cancelled, the development of the offshore gas field would be handed over to Iranian contractors. 
“The Chinese side has said it is not inclined to be part of the project’s development,” citing the “high risk” involved in offshore exploration, Nikzad added. 
He also said that a deal for another gas field would instead be discussed “in the near future,” without giving any details. 
Iran, which has the world’s second-largest natural gas reserves after Russia, says it is able to develop South Pars on its own by giving many of the projects to Iranian companies.