Reuters: India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp will meet Iranian officials on Thursday to push forward plans to jointly develop with the Hinduja Group two large energy assets in the Gulf nation, ONGC’s chief said. NEW DELHI, Jan 2 (Reuters) – India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp will meet Iranian officials on Thursday to push forward plans to jointly develop with the Hinduja Group two large energy assets in the Gulf nation, ONGC’s chief said.
Iran is drawing interest from Indian and Chinese firms that are keen to tap the world’s second-largest reserves of oil and gas and are less susceptible than many other companies to Western pressure over Tehran’s nuclear programme.
The two firms hope to tie up for an interest in Iran’s South Pars Phase 12 gasfield and the Azadegan oil asset, ONGC chairman and managing director R.S. Sharma said on Wednesday, and the talks in New Delhi would be about the plans.
“We have an MoU with Hindujas. Under that platform we are going to discuss the issues,” Sharma told reporters, adding that an announcement may be made on Friday.
He declined to give details about the participating interest ONGC and the Hindujas were looking for in the two assets.
In December, a senior ONGC source told Reuters the firm’s overseas arm — ONGC Videsh Ltd — was to join forces with the Hinduja Group in a bid to help develop the Iranian oil and gas assets.
By 0747 GMT, shares in ONGC were trading 1.3 percent up at 1,265.20 rupees in a weak Mumbai market that had eased 0.13 percent.
Iran is the world’s fourth-largest crude oil exporter and Azadegan, located in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, was its biggest oil find in 30 years when it was announced in 1999.
If finalised, this would be ONGC Videsh’s second entry into the hydrocarbon-rich nation, where it operates the Farsi block.
(Reporting by Nidhi Verma, Editing by Mark Williams)