Farzad-B Master Plan to Be Finalized

Farzad-B Master Plan to Be FinalizedFarzad-B Master Plan to Be Finalized

Iran will finalize a master development plan for Farzad-B Gas Field with India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) by the end of November, Mohammad Meshkinfam, director of the Pars Oil and Gas Company, said.

"The framework to develop the Farzad-B gas project was proposed by Iran and ONGC will submit a final plan based on Iran's proposal this month," Meshkinfam was quoted as saying by Shana.

The official underlined disagreements with ONGC over the terms and conditions of cooperation as the main sticking point in handing over the development rights of the sought-after gas field to the Indian company.

He also said that ONGC will pick an advisor for the project under Iran's supervision. "We expect the Indians to choose a renowned international company as advisor" that would help iron out the technical details of the development plan.

A consortium of ONGC, Oil India and Indian Oil Corporation discovered huge amounts of gas reserves in the Farsi Block in 2008. The discovery was later named Farzad-B.

However, the consortium could not obtain the permission to develop the field due to tighter international sanctions imposed on Iran due to nuclear program dispute.

The field is located about 100 kilometers of Persian Gulf coastline and straddles the Iran-Saudi border. The first phase of the plan is aimed at producing 57 million cubic meters of natural gas per day from the field off the Persian Gulf.

Meshkinfam warned last week that ONGC was running out of time in Farzad-B talks and said that Iran was keeping all its options open for tendering the gas field.

Sanjay Sudhir, Officer on Special Duty at India's Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas who led an Indian delegation to Tehran late last month, had said that India was keen to finalize a deal on developing the Farzad-B gas field.

Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh earlier told reporters that his ministry will decide whether to continue the protracted talks with the Indian company in case they fail to present an acceptable model.

India has been pushing for the development rights of Farzad-B after Iran and the six world powers (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) reached an accord in July last year on temporarily limiting Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

As a gesture of goodwill, Iran has excluded Farzad-B from a list of several dozen oil and gas projects that it plans to put to tender under a new model of contracts, dubbed as the Iran Petroleum Contracts.


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