New Delhi: India on Monday proposed to invest $6.5 billion to develop gas fields in Iran and sought more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from that country.
At the same time, India asked Iran to honour the 2005 LNG import deal and ensure secured supplies of gas through the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline.
In the first high-level contact in two years, India told the visiting Iranian deputy oil minister and National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) managing director, Seifollah Jashnsaz, that it was keen to buy 5 million tonnes of LNG a year besides the ones signed in 2005, sources said.
India also asked Iran to give the ONGC Videsh-led group rights to develop the gas field it discovered in the offshore Farsi block. It sought 20-25% stake for the overseas investment arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) in the Phase-12 of the gigantic South Pars gas field in the Gulf.
Sources said Jashnsaz was told to honour the 2005 LNG agreement which NIOC had previously blocked, saying the gas price in the signed deal was too low.
On the $7.4 billion Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, India said it was willing to be part of the project provided Iran guarantees safety of the pipeline in Pakistan.
India said it would take delivery of the gas on the Pakistan-India border rather than the proposed sale point at Iran-Pakistan border, sources said, adding this way Iran would be responsible for passage of gas in Pakistan and will have to bear losses if the pipeline is disrupted.