Action Comes after Suspension of Russia’s Energy Giant Gazprom
Iran said it had suspended a contract with Chinese National Petroleum Corporation International (CNPCI) for development of its North Pars gas field.
“We will decide on the continuation of CNPCI activities in the North Pars gas field when they fulfill their commitments in Iran's South Pars gas field, which is Iran's first priority,” said Mousa Souri, the managing director of Pars Oil and Gas Company [Mehr News Agency, 11 October].
On Tuesday, Iran also formally suspended Russia’s Gazprom from developing its Azar oil field.
Western companies have already pulled out from Iran’s energy sector due to the fear of sanctions. But the non-performance of CNPCI, the oil and gas giant owned by the Chinese government, and Gazprom, the Russian oil and gas giant, will have a chilling effect on the future of foreign investment in Iran’s oil and gas sector.
Iran’s Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said after the suspensions that the Islamic Republic had no need for foreign investment in energy sector. Although there are serious doubts about the credibility of Qasemi’s statement. If Iran did not need such investments, they would not have awarded these huge contracts to the Russians and the Chinese in the first place, only to suspend them later.