In Huge Blow, Iran Confirms China Has Exited Crucial $5 Billlion Gas Project

In a huge blow to Iran’s prospects for weathering the tightening economic noose of US sanctions, and as the White House seeks to take’s Iran’s crude exports down to ‘zero’, China National Petroleum Corp – the state-owned parent company of China’s second-largest oil producer, PetroChina, and one of the largest integrated energy groups in the world – has pulled out of a $5 billion natural-gas project in Iran, the WSJ reports.

This also just following last month’s US sanctions on six entities, including a unit of China’s COSCO Shipping Corp., which stood accused of deliberately purchasing and covertly attempting to transport Iranian oil.

Iranian oil minister Bijan Zangeneh confirmed Sunday that domestic company Petropars Co. is now in full control of a planned development project in the South Pars gas field as a result of China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) backing out of the deal. The Chinese company itself was to replace France’s Total SA after it exited Iran, citing US repercussions related to Washington sanctions.

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