India receives 2nd ultimatum on Farzad-B

News ID: 3845864 -
TEHRAN, Dec. 10 (MNA) – An NIOC official said a tender will be invited for development of Farzad-B gas field if Iran and India fail to reach final agreement in the envisaged time.

On latest status of talks between National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), NIOC Deputy Head for Development and Engineering Affairs Gholamreza Manouchehri said an Indian delegation had travelled to Tehran to resume negotiations on expansion of the Iranian gas field in the Persian Gulf.

He emphasized that the Indian side is required to finalize talks by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (to end March 21, 2017) otherwise the project will be put out to an international tender.

In response to a question on the main controversies between Tehran and New Delhi on development of Farzad-B, Manouchehri explained “a model for calculating gas price was proposed by Indians during the previous meeting with which Iran is at a variance.”

On causes of lingered talks with India over development of the joint gas field since 2001, the official said “the Indian side has drilled wells and made investment for discovery purposes though there was a hiatus in the project due to sanctions.”

He further emphasized that a fresh round of talks between NIOC and ONGC will kick off in about two weeks.

NIOC Managing Director Ali Kardor hs also noted that the two sides share almost similar views on the technical model for development of Farzad-B though debates still persist on the economic model of the project.

One month earlier, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, while stressing that the Indian economic model for development of the field is not acceptable, underlined “Iran will wait no longer for ONGC and if the Indian delegation fails to offer an appropriate economic model, a different strategy will be adopted for Farzad-B development.”

A consortium headed by India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) Videsh, the overseas exploration unit of Oil and Natural Gas Corp, discovered the Farzad-B gas field in the Farsi offshore block in 2008, but was unable to get permission to develop it due to Western sanctions against Iran.

India’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MOP&NG) is hoping to convince Iran into assigning Farzad-B project to ONGC Videsh.

Farzad-B gas field has in-place reserves of up to 21.68 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), 12.8 Tcf of which may be recoverable.

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