Iran suspended a gas contract with CNPC

Updated: 2011-10-18 18:01


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Iran suspended a gas contract with CNPC

Iran has replaced Russia’s Gazprom Neft with a local consortium and suspended a gas contract with the China National Petroleum Corporation International (CNPC) as it struggles to speed up development of its oil and gasfields.

Western oil and gas majors, such as France’s Total and Royal Dutch Shell, have not invested in Iran’s energy sector in recent years because of sanctions over the country’s nuclear programme and Tehran’s undesirable contract terms.

Iran has in the past turned instead to Asian and Russian companies. However, the shift does not appear to have boosted production.

Oil analysts suspect Iran’s oil production capacity has fallen from more than 4m barrels per day in 2005 to bout 3.6m bpd owing to the depletion of old fields and long delays in development of oil and gas projects. Tehran claims that its production capacity remains largely unchanged.

It is not clear why Iran could not reach an agreement with Gazprom over Azar, a field in western Iran that is jointly held with Iraq. A memorandum of understanding covering the field was signed in November 2009......

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