The Iranian official said the Chinese company has had "some difficulties" because "it has not brought its financing"; however, "there is no formal withdrawal from CNPC. It still has staff in Tehran and in Assaluyeh," the southern Iranian port city where the project is being overseen.
A CNPC representative said officials have denied that the company is leaving the project in the South Pars gas field, one of the largest in the world.
In 2009, Tehran signed a $5-billion contract with CNPC to develop the field after the Islamic Republic accused French oil major Total SA of delaying the project. Last year, Iran warned CNPC thatthat it would cancel the contract if delays in developing the field persisted.