INDIA - IRAN: ONGC plans to develop oilfields in Iran

State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) plans to partner Hinduja Group to develop oil and gas fields in Iran, company's Chairman and Managing Director R. S. Sharma said on Wednesday.

ONGC Videsh Ltd., the overseas investment arm of ONGC, and Ashok Leyland Project Services Ltd. -- a unit of Hinduja Group, plan to take a stake in Phase 12 of the giant South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf and also develop the Azadegan oilfield.

Sharma said his company and the Hindujas meet Iranian officials in New Delhi today to discuss plans.

Hinduja Group has signed an MOU with Naftiran Intertrade Co. (NICO), an affiliate of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), while OVL has a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Petropars Ltd. for development of Phase 12.

""We have to decide on the equity sharing arrangements,"" Sharma said.

Iran does not give companies a stake in its oil and gas fields but signs buyback agreements where companies hand over operations of fields to NIOC after development and then receive payments from oil or gas production for a few years to cover their investment.

Sharma said OVL's board had last month cleared project specific collaboration with Hinduja. ""We are hopeful of getting the Iranian assets.""

Hindujas had been insisting on forming a joint venture company similar to the one the state-run firm had formed with steel baron Lakshmi N. Mittal for overseas acquisitions.

However, OVL board decided to restrict its collaboration with Hindujas on case-to-case basis.

Via: Teheran Times

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