After losing an oilfield to China, and Iran trimming by one-third the promised stake in a gas field, India would review its energy cooperation with the Persian Gulf nation when Petroleum Minister Murli Deora meets its leaders in Beijing next week.
Iran chose China over India’s ONGC-Hinduja Group joint venture for award of the giant South Azadegan oilfield, and has trimmed the combine’s promised 60 per cent stake in Phase-12 of the South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf.
Mr. Deora, who will lead the Indian delegation to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in Beijing on October 13, is likely to meet the Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi on the sidelines of the conference.
“There is no set agenda but in my meeting I will discuss all impending issues,” he said.
Iran had last year identified South Azadegan oilfield and South Pars Phase-12 (SP-12) gas field for the state-owned ONGC and Hinduja combine, but in the 21 months since virtually no progress has been made. Iran has put the onus on India’s side.
While Tehran believes New Delhi may be dithering on energy ties under US pressure, Deora said India placed “immense importance to ties with Iran and (will) continue to pursue energy projects.”
While a firm agreement with Sonangol has not been signed yet, it has already signed for 10 per cent stake in SP-12 with Venezuela’s PdVSA and was also courting Austria’s OMV, highly placed sources said.