TEHRAN, May 6 (UPI) -- Chinese companies are still welcome in Iran's energy sector, but those not meeting their obligations are a source of frustration, the oil minister said Tuesday.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh last week said a contract with China National Petroleum Corp. for development of the South Azadegan oil field was torn up because the company wasn't meeting Iran's expectations at a field said to hold more than 40 billion barrels of oil.
The minister said Tuesday there was a continued interest with working with Chinese companies, though the government was so far not happy with their performance.
"[The] ministry has by no means any intention of removing Chinese companies and investors from [Iran’s] petroleum industry, but Iran has ended its cooperation with the Chinese firms that have not fulfilled their obligations in some projects," he said.
CNPC was given a contract from the Iranian government to develop the oil field straddling the border with Iraq in 2009. Chinese companies, including CNPC, are working with Iran on development of the South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf.