TEHRAN, April 9 (Shana) – Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh said Iran is exporting 350,000 barrels of oil to India per day hoping that it will rise in the post-sanctions conditions.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Indian Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan here on Saturday, he said that energy sector can be determining in development of Tehran-New Delhi relations.
“Indian firms are interested in Iran’s oil, gas, and petrochemical projects,” he said following the meeting with his Indian counterpart.
Zangeneh added that he most important item on his talks with Pradhan was the investment to develop Farzad-B offshore gas field.
“It was decided that Iranian and Indian sides agree on the schedule of implementing the project which is a demanding job and take time,” he said.
Saying that the Indian minister also held a meeting with the Governor of Central Bank of Iran Valiollah Seif, Zangeneh announced that both sides agreed to continue the previous methods of payment between Iran and India.
Pradhan is in Tehran heading a delegation of major private sector representatives from oil, gas, and energy fields. His visit is the first by an Indian minister following removal of sanctions as India wants more oil imports and shipments of natural gas from Iran.
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in a statement said representative of major oil and energy firms are accompanying the Indian minister to Tehran.
New Delhi is looking to increase engagement with Iran for the development of Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf that was discovered by India’s ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of the India’s state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.
Under pressure from the United States, the OVL-led consortium delayed and ultimately relinquished development of Farzad-B offshore natural gas block.
New Delhi also withdrew from the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline project slated to bring 11.3 bcm meters of Iranian natural gas per year to India.
A proposal on the undersea pipeline to carry natural gas from Iran to India is also under study by an Indian firm.
Last December, managing director of the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) said Tehran and New Delhi are seriously negotiating construction of a trans Oman Sea-Indian Ocean pipeline to transfer gas to the energy hungry India.
Gas-rich Iran which holds the largest reservoirs of 34 tcm or 18 percent of the global resources has also entered into contracts for export of natural gas to neighboring Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq, and UAE.
Pradhan is scheduled to travel to Chabhahr port to visit the petrochemical site under construction by Indian firms for production of fertilizers before winding up his visit to Iran.
‘His visit is in sync with our energy security imperatives and is extremely important from the perspective of foreseeable growth in India’s economic activity and crude oil & gas import requirements,’ read an FICCI statement.