Iran should reciprocate on gas field award: Dharmendra Pradhan

Express News Service | Published: 16th June 2017 12:38 AM
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Reuters

NEW DELHI: India wants Iran to award rights of the Farzad- B gas field to its discoverer, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, and reciprocate the trust shown by India during the phase when it was boycotted by western nations.

“We stood by them in difficult times and bought substantial amount of crude oil. We also returned every penny when the banking channels reopened,” said oil and gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan. He added that relationship with Iran is not based on a single commodity or a single transaction.

However, with Iran’s non-commitment to award of rights to ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of ONGC, develop the 12.5 trillion cubic feet gas field discovered by OVL, India decided to cut oil imports from Iran by a fifth in 2017-18.

Iran had shown its displeasure with India, after a $ 5.5 billion master development plan was submitted by OVL. Iran signed an initial pact with Russia’s Gazprom for developing Farzad-B gas field.

Iran is peeved since it will have to reimburse all of the money that is invested, together with a fixed rate of return. The demand from Iran is that the investment should be lowered by OVL and it should commit to buying gas at a price fixed by it.

While OVL has said it will take up development only if the terms are economical and cannot absorb any cost and the price of gas should be comparable to rates in current market.

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