Iranian, Indian Firms to Meet again on Oil, Gas Deals

A036930116.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp and the Hinduja Group will meet again with Iranian firms on developing an oil and a gas field in Iran and downstream projects in India, a Hinduja Group official said on Friday.Officials from ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of state-run ONGC, and Hinduja’s Ashok Leyland Project Services met officials of Iran’s state-run Petropras and Naft Iran Intertrade Co Ltd (NICO), a subsidiary of National Iranian Oil Co, on Thursday.

Subir Raha, executive vice chairman of Hinduja Group India, said the upstream and downstream projects could cost $20 billion.

“This is the ballpark number at current prices. But the exact number will be known after a detailed feasibility report,” he said.

“Negotiations will continue, we will meet shortly,” said Raha.

An ONGC official said that no agreement has been signed on the Indian firms’ participation in the Iranian projects, but a basic understanding on some issues has been reached.

“There are still some open issues. We are moving ahead. Commercial issues have yet to be worked out,” said the ONGC official, who asked not be named as the negotiations were ongoing.

The two sides have yet to finalize gas pricing, project cost and supply commitment from Iran.

ONGC and Hinduja Group are looking at joining the development of the South Pars Phase 12 gas field and the Azadegan oil field in Iran.

ONGC has offered the Iranian firms an equity stake in its proposed refinery and a liquefied natural gas terminal in Southern India, which Hinduja Group will also be involved in.

ONGC plans to build a 300,000 barrels-a-day refinery in Andhra Pradesh state, and a 7.5 million tons-a-year LNG terminal in Karnataka state.

Iran is drawing interest from Indian and Chinese firms that are keen to tap the world’s second-largest reserves of oil and gas and are less susceptible than many other companies to Western pressure over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Iran and China’s Sinopec recently signed a deal to develop the huge Yadavaran oil field.

Iran is the world’s fourth-largest crude oil exporter and Azadegan, located in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, was its biggest oil find in 30 years when it was announced in 1999.

A venture in Iran would be ONGC Videsh’s second entry into the hydrocarbon-rich nation, where it operates the Farsi block.

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