ONGC, Hindujas at loggerheads over Iran gas field stake

ONGC, Hindujas at loggerheads over Iran gas field stake

New Delhi: ONGC and Hindujas are at loggerheads over stake in an Iranian gas field, with the London- based group seeking half of the 40% interest assigned to India but the state-owned firm is willing to concede only one-fourth.

Hindujas want the stake in Phase-12 of the giant south Pars gas field to be split equally between its subsidiary Ashok Leyland Projects Services and ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), sources in know said.

The state-owned firm, however, feels that Iran offered the stake to India because of its expertise in the business and so it deserved three-fourth of the stake on offer. APLS has no experience in oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) and so should be confined to a smaller role, ONGC feels.

After years of tough negotiations, Iran last month signed agreements to give ONGC-Hinduja combine a 40% stake in SP-12. ONGC and ALPS along with Petronet LNG also signed pact to take 20% stake in Iran LNG that is building a $4.32-billion plant on the southern coast to convert gas from Phase 12 (SP-12) into liquefied natural gas for exports.

The division of the state within the Indian group was to be decided internally, the source said. Hinduja also want 10% stake in the LNG plant and the balance to be split equally between ONGC and Petronet.

ONGC on the other hand is seeking greater role even in LNG project.