Indian oil firms granted access to Persian Gulf block

Originally at: http://news.monstersandcritics.com/mediamonitor/article_1011940.php/Indian_oil_firms_granted_access_to_Persian_Gulf_block

Tehran, 13 June: Iran Monday [13 June] agreed to give Indian oil firms a block in North Pars gas field in Persian Gulf for production of LNG [liquefied natural gas] and its export to India and other countries. State-run Indian Oil Corporation and Iran’s Petropars had earlier proposed to develop one of the 20 blocks in the gigantic South Pars gas field.

Separately, ONGC [Oil and Natural Gas Corporation] Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corp, had also evinced interest in taking over one of the blocks of the South Pars field for gas production, conversion into LNG and its export. Iran, however, Monday clubbed OVL and IOC’s proposal and offered to give a block in the neighbouring North Pars gas field, which till now has not been explored.

“North Pars field can produce 3.6bn cubic feet of gas per day. One of the blocks in the field will be given to Indian oil firms,” Iranian Oil Minister Bizhan Namdar-Zangeneh said. The minister said contracts for almost all the phases of the South Pars gas field have been finalized and so a block from North Pars field would be given to Indian firms.

IOC had earlier teamed up with Petropars for bringing to production one of the blocks to develop the 500 sq mile South Pars field, and produce 9m tones per annum of liquefied natural gas to export to India and other countries. The IOC-Petropars consortium had also submitted a 3bn dollar plan to National Iranian Oil Company for development of block and production of LNG.

Source: PTI news agency, New Delhi, in English 1408 gmt 13 Jun 05

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