TEHRAN, May 8 (UPI) -- A national energy company in Iran says its ready to install 10 drilling rigs at the South Azadegan field after a Chinese contract was canceled.
Iran last week canceled a contract with China National Petroleum Corp. for work at the field, citing poor performance and a failure to meet its obligations.
Hamid-Reza Golpayegani, managing director at the National Iranian Drilling Co., said his company was ready to take up the slack at the field straddling the border with Iraq.
"NIDC is ready to install 10 drilling rigs in South Azadegan field to accelerate drilling operations," he said Wednesday.
Four rigs operated by NIDC are already in place at the field. Since 2007, Golpayegani said his company has drilled more than a dozen development wells at the Azadegan complex.
CNPC was given a contract from the Iranian government to develop South Azadegan in 2009. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said this week Chinese companies were still welcome to participate in Iran's energy sector despite issues with CNPC.
Iran estimates the South Azadegan oil field holds more than 40 billion barrels of oil.