New Delhi: Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) hopes to sign an initial agreement to help develop two huge oil and gas fields in Iran at a meeting planned for next month, the firm’s head said on Wednesday.
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 programme.
“Next meeting with the Iranians on joining South Pars Phase 12 and Azadegan is tentatively planned for mid-April,” Chairman R.S. Sharma told reporters.
“Our team had gone there recently, and now we have to sign a participatory agreement with Iranians.
Sharma said it the venue for meeting had yet to be finalised.
ONGC, through its overseas investment arm ONGC Videsh Ltd, and the Hinduja Group are together eyeing a role in developing the South Pars Phase 12 gas field and the Azadegan oil asset.
In early January, ONGC offered Iranian firms an equity stake in its proposed refinery and a liquefied natural gas terminal in southern India, which the Hinduja Group will also be involved in.
ONGC plans to build a 300,000 barrel-a-day refinery in Andhra Pradesh state, and a 7.5 million tonnes-a-year LNG terminal in Karnataka state.
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.