India is still Iran’s priority for developing Farzad B field: Zanganeh

May 29, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said India is still the top option for awarding Farzad B gas field development project, Mehr news agency reported on Wednesday.

“Our intention is to hold final talks with them [India]….if they are not ready to do the project, we will continue with an Iranian company, however if Indian companies come forward, they will be the ministry’s priority for completing the project,” Zanganeh said.

The official noted that Iranian oil ministry has prepared a plan for financing the project and the framework of the contract is also going through final editions.

Earlier in February 2019, head of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said Iran and India are still discussing development of Farzad-B gas field.

“Development of Farzad-B has been and will be a top priority for NIOC and the negotiations with India are still underway.” Masoud Karbasian told Tasnim news agency.

Farzad-B, with estimated reserves of 12.8 trillion cubic feet of gas, was opened in 2008 by a consortium of three Indian companies: ONGC, Oil India Limited and Indian Oil Corporation.

The Indians were supposed to develop the field after its exploration, but they stopped their activities after the West intensified sanctions on the Islamic Republic in 2012.

With the lifting of the sanctions, India once again called for the development of Farzad-B by ONGC Videsh which is the overseas investment arm of the country’s biggest energy exploration firm.

According to an agreement, the Indians were first to submit a technical plan and then a financial proposal for the development of the field, but Iran did not agree with the other side's financial proposals.

EF/MA