Iran’s new oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, has annulled the country’s largest agreement with Chinese interests regarding the Southern Pars Oil and Gas Development project and transferred the $5-million deal to two Iranian companies, National Oil and Petropars.

Mehr News Agency reports that a second agreement with the Chinese for the 11th phase of the development has also been annulled and transferred to Petropars.

This is one of the new minister’s first moves since he took the helm of the oil ministry this month.

Iran’s oil and energy industry is facing serious difficulties in view of the international sanctions on Iran`s petroleum products, with oil output reduced by a million barrels a day.

The report indicates that while the Chinese oil companies have a good track record in neighbouring countries, in Iran they have missed several deadlines and caused months and even years of delays.