India’s quest for building its energy security may see it continue to pursue investment opportunity in Farzad-B gas field in Iran even though ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) may not get to develop the block that it discovered over a decade ago.
Highly placed sources in the oil ministry said that an Indian consortium including Indian Oil, Oil India and OVL, which bagged the exploration contract for Farzad-B in 2002, may remain invested in the upstream project as equity partners with other local and international entities even without operatorship or development rights. This, they said, will allow the consortium to get their share of gas to India at applicable rates decided by Iran.
Though the exploration contract signed by the Indian consortium expired in 2009, official sources said that a deal could be negotiated so that India has a presence in the field as equity investors.
Farzad-B, which was discovered by OVL in the Farsi block about 10 years ago, had in-place gas reserve of 21.7 trillion cubic feet, of which 12.5 Tcf is believed to be recoverable. If India gets a share of this gas, it could reduce its dependence on expensive LNG.