India and Iran to expand energy ties

Iranian Deputy Petroleum Minister Amir-Hossein Zamaninia said, "The Farzad-B gas field, purchase of oil from Iran and investment in petrochemicals will be the most important topic of discussions." The Farzad-B field in the offshore Farsi block is estimated to hold 12.8 trillion cubic feet of in-place gas reserves. "In Iran, our primary interest is in E&P (exploration and production). We have old engagements with Iran and we continued to buy oil from Iran in difficult times," he told reporters.

The Indians are pushing to win back development rights to the field which they discovered in 2008. An Indian consortium led by ONGC Videsh submitted later a USD 3B field development plan to Iranian authorities to develop Farzad-B.

Indian Oil Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan will soon be visiting Iran for important talks, including on purchase of more oil, development of a giant gas field and investment in petrochemical projects. Zamaninia said the Central Bank of Iran is currently carrying out negotiations with the Indians in this regard.

Pradhan is also due to meet Iranian Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh and secretary of the council of Iran’s free trade, industrial and special economic zones Akbar Torkan. The Indian minister has said he would discuss India’s interest in developing Chabahar port in Tehran and building industrial complexes there.

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