India seeks rights to operate Iran oil field

Tehran, May 24: India has sought a discovered oilfield from Iran for raising crude oil imports from the Persian Gulf nation as part of efforts to widen economic and energy ties post lifting of sanctions.

Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the nation's largest oil firm, has proposed to Iran that it be given rights to operate and produce crude oil from the discovered field to help move away from buyer-seller relationship to a strategic partnership, sources privy to the development said.

India seeks rights to operate oil field

The oil produced from the field can then be shipped home, the IOC has said. IOC had last fiscal imported 1.2 million tons of crude oil from Iran. In the fiscal year that began from April 1, it is looking to raise it by at least three-fold.

Prime Minister Modi's visit to Iran was aimed at boosting trade and commerce between the two countries. His trip came just months after lifting of international sanctions on Iran following Tehran's historic nuclear deal with the Western powers over its contentious atomic programme.

Besides IOC, ONGC Videsh Ltd has also sought two discovered fields from the 16 fields that Iran is likely to put on auction shortly. The fields sought by OVL, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), is besides the Farzad-B offshore field for which it is in advanced talks to secure developmental rights. OVL had in 2008 discovered the Farzad-B field in the Persian Gulf.

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The field holds 12.5 Trillion cubic feet of recoverable reserves. Sources said Iran has so far not responded to the requests by the Indian firms.

It has, however, shown willingness to give Farzad-A, which holds 283 billion cubic meters of reserves. The field besides holding smaller reserves is more challenging, OVL feels.


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