ONGC plans to discuss oil opportunities with Iran

ONGC plans to discuss oil opportunities with Iran

New Delhi: The country’s biggest energy producer, Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd, plans to discuss specific opportunities with executives from National Iranian Oil Co. next week, chairman and managing director R.S. Sharma said.

“In import-dependent countries like ours, we have to see where are the future sources of energy supplies," Sharma said. “Iran, they have the second largest crude oil and gas reserves and they are not very well exploited."

India is competing with countries, including China and South Korea, for natural resources overseas as output from domestic fields declines and requirements increase in the world’s second fastest growing economy. Domestic demand for oil may grow at as much as 4% in 2010, Sharma said. ONGC’s plans to develop projects in Iran have been delayed by the ongoing attempts to halt the West Asian nation’s nuclear programme.

The meeting with the Iranian delegation is scheduled for 30 November, Sharma said.

ONGC is in talks with state-owned Petropars Ltd to buy a stake in South Pars, Iran’s largest natural gas field, R.S. Butola, managing director of ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas unit, said on 6 October. The company discovered gas in Iran’s Farsi block in partnership with refiner Indian Oil Corp. Ltd and Oil India Ltd.

ONGC shares fell 0.41% at Rs1,174.75 even as the Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensex index lost 2%.