The Farzad-B Gas Field was one thorn between blooming India-Iran Relations. After the recent visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to India, it appears that the thorn of Farzad-B Gas Field can be removed.
India-Iran Relations at the Zenith Thanks to US Sanctions, EU Sluggishness
India may still get access to Iran’s Farzad-B gas block as discussions are ongoing, a senior Iranian minister has said. “Indians have had the opportunity of getting into Farzad-B (gas field) earlier, and they still have it,” Gholam Reza Ansari, deputy minister for Economic Affairs at Iran’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, said on Tuesday, hinting that Iran was willing to provide easier terms for India once negotiations progress.
The total reserves of the Farzad B gas field are around 21.7 trillion cubic feet of which around 60% is recoverable and production is slated to be around 1.1 billion cubic feet/day.
Ansari’s comments come after senior officials from Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Videsh Limited (OVL) — the overseas investment arm of ONGC — said it may lessen its investment outlay, and agreed to Iran taking delivery of all gas already produced in the field.
India had been looking to secure a contract for developing the gas field since 2009 but consecutive sanctions against Tehran played the spoiler besides the differences over pricing.
Earlier as EurAsian Times reported, India with few other nations managed to squeeze out a six-month waiver from the US with regards to sanctions. As a result, New Delhi was permitted to import only nine million barrels of Iranian crude.
“As far as I understand, Indians are trying to extend these waivers and I think, due to the traditional relation between our countries, they will be successful in securing those waivers as well,” Ansari said.
As a result, the US has made the issue a part of its present trade negotiations with New Delhi. “Senior US officials visiting India have recommended that they may be willing to give India a waiver on US’ tariff hikes on aluminium and steel imports, provided India pledges to significantly change its sourcing pattern with regards to petroleum,” a senior trade department official said. India is yet to respond to this, he added.
The Indian government had also been able to bypass international sanctions led by the US after deciding to use the euro for paying Iranian producers. But India will not have access to the European currency this time around as leading European Union nations have also supported Trump’s call for sanctions.
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