India Seeks Investment in Iran's Energy Sector

India Seeks Investment in Iran's Energy SectorIndia Seeks Investment in Iran's Energy Sector

India is keen on investing in Iran's oil, gas and petrochemical sectors, Iranian ambassador to India said.

Gholamreza Ansari made the statement on the sidelines of the inauguration of "P4 Expo India 2016"—a specialized exhibition for petrochemical, plastics, packaging and printing industries, Shana reported on Wednesday.

The exhibition is being held in the city of Greater Noida and will run until April 8. Ansari said the lifting of international sanctions against Iran, which took place in January, has opened new doors for cooperation between the two nations who have traditionally maintained friendly relations.

"Holding a tremendous amount of gas, which is the primary source for (producing) petrochemicals, Iran has huge potential for cooperation with India," said the top diplomat, who was formerly Iran's ambassador to Russia.

Ansari described the economies of Tehran-New Delhi as "complementary", underlining India as one of the main buyers of Iran's crude oil. Iran was India's second biggest oil supplier, before western sanctions targeting Tehran's nuclear program hampered its trade relations, forcing the South Asian nation to turn to alternative suppliers like Iraq.

But India has emerged as the biggest customer of Iranian crude in the post-sanctions era. India's oil imports from Iran topped 500,000 barrels per day in March, the highest in at least five years, as private refiner Reliance Industries resumed purchases after a multiyear layoff, tanker data obtained by Reuters showed. Ansari also said one of the advantages of Iran's petrochemical sector is a fixed and finalized formula that clarifies the price of natural gas for petrochemical units.

The price of feedstock is a decisive factor for domestic and international companies exploring investment opportunities in the Persian Gulf country's promising but volatile energy market.

Earlier this year, the government approved a pricing formula for the supply of natural gas as feedstock, based on which, each cubic meter of gas is priced at 8.5 cents , according to analysts.