Iran has denied a request by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to suspend work on Phase 11 of the South Pars gas project, Oil Price reported.

At the end of last year, CNPC replaced Total in the South Pars gas project, where it currently dominates an 80% stake.

“We have to sort out the issue with China, it has to either pull out of the contract, if so its share would be transferred to Iran’s Petro Pars,” Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh explained.

Last March, Iran launched four new phases to develop the South Pars field, expected to increase the country’s gas production capacity by a total 110 million cubic meters per day (mcm/d).

The US sanctions have limited Iran’s ability to export crude oil and natural gas.