Reuters: Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), India’s top explorer, was in talks to develop oil and gas fields in Iran but a definitive agreement was still some way off, the company’s chairman said on Thursday.
MUMBAI, March 27 (Reuters) – Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), India’s top explorer, was in talks to develop oil and gas fields in Iran but a definitive agreement was still some way off, the company’s chairman said on Thursday.
ONGC, through its overseas investment arm ONGC Videsh Ltd, and the Hinduja Group are together eyeing a role in developing the South Pars Phase 12 gas field and the Azadegan oil asset.
“It is too early to set a time frame,” R.S. Sharma, chairman and managing director at ONGC, told reporters.
On Wednesday, Sharma had said a meeting with Iranian officials was tentatively planned for mid-April, after which a participatory agreement could be signed.
“A lot of ground has to be covered before reaching a stage of signing a definitive agreement,” he said.
A venture in Iran would be ONGC Videsh’s second entry into the hydrocarbon-rich nation, where it operates the Farsi block.
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.
Iran and China’s Sinopec recently signed a deal to develop the huge Yadavaran oil field.
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. (Reporting by Hiral Vora; Editing by John Mair)