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China's pace at oil fields frustrates Iran

TEHRAN, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Chinese energy companies aren't moving fast enough to develop the Yadavaran and Azadegan oil fields in southern Iran, an Iranian executive said.

Abdolreza Hossainnejad, managing director of Iran's Petroleum Engineering and Development Co., said Sunday the China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known also as Sinopec, wasn't working fast enough to meet the development criteria for Yadavaran.

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"We had planned to raise output from Yadavaran oil field to 85,000 barrels per day over a 59-month period but Chinese companies were willing to achieve the figure in a 74-month period," he told the Iranian Oil Ministry's official website Shana.

China National Petroleum Corp is contracted to help develop the Azadegan complex, one of Iran's largest oil fields. It straddles the border with Iraq.

Hossainnejad said CNPC is behind schedule there but provided few details. He said drilling rigs need to be procured for the field and that CNPC was taking Iran's concerns "seriously."

Chinese interest in the Iranian oil industry sparked concern from Washington, which has placed sanctions on Iran's energy sector as punishment for its controversial nuclear program.

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