Tasnim – Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh played down threats by India that it will cut oil imports from the country if an Indian company does not win a project to develop Iran’s Farzad-B gas field, making it clear that many other customers are already vying to buy Iranian crude.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet session on Wednesday, Zanganeh described India as a “good customer” with which Iran seeks to enhance ties, but underlined that Iran will not face problems if Indians decide to cut oil imports from the country.
Last week, Reuters reported that Indian state-run refiners would cut oil imports from Iran in 2017/18 by a fifth over an impasse on Farzad-B giant gas field that it wants awarded to an Indian consortium.
“We are dealing with a lot of customers, and the demand (for Iranian crude) outstrips the export capacity,” Zanganeh explained.
He said India had a deadline of end of 2016 to weigh up Iran’s offers and make up its mind, but it put forward “unacceptable” suggestions afterwards.
“Anyway, we seek to earn revenue by producing oil, not merely to develop gas fields,” the minister added.
He finally recommended Indians to come up with rational and fair offers, stressing that issuing threats will get nowhere.