Tough road ahead for Indo-Iran projects

Tough road ahead for Indo-Iran projects

India may find it difficult to re-convince Iran about its long-term commitment and return to hydrocarbon projects it once abandoned in the Islamic Republic.

New Delhi made an early move to reach out to Tehran in the wake of the recent breakthrough in latter’s negotiations with US and other western powers. But India’s offer for return of its oil PSUs to hydrocarbon projects in Iran did not receive a positive response from Tehran, sources said in New Delhi.

Iran is understood to have declined a specific proposal from India to allow ONGC Videsh Limited to develop the Farzad B gas field in the Islamic Republic without going through a bidding process.

Though the Embassy of India in Tehran recently facilitated a meeting between senior officials of Iranian government with a delegation of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in the capital of the West Asian country, it did not yield encouraging results, diplomatic sources told Deccan Herald.

The Iranian officials appeared to be not keen to allow the ONGC Videsh Limited to develop the Farzad B gas field without going through the tendering process. They, however, told their counterparts from India that a meeting between senior officials of the National Iranian Oil Company and the ONGC Videsh Limited could be arranged to discuss the proposal further.

New Delhi, however, anticipates that Iranian Government might finally go for global tendering, as many international oil companies are now keen to invest in hydrocarbon sectors of the Islamic Republic as the recent breakthrough raised hope for a final deal between Tehran and “E3+3” countries to resolve the dispute over West Asian country’s controversial nuclear programme.

The ONGC Videsh Limited, along with Oil India Limited, and Indian Oil Corporation Limited, had earlier invested about $100 million in B gas field, but production could not be started as the Indian companies found it difficult to stay engaged in hydrocarbon sector of Iran due to sanctions imposed by US and European Union.

Iranian officials are understood to have conveyed disappointment to their counterparts from India over dilly-dallying by the OVL and Indian oil PSUs to start work on the hydrocarbon projects they had once evinced interest in.

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