OVL, a lead partner in the Farsi block is in the race for a stake in South Pars gas field. An NIOC team will visit New Delhi next week, when OVL is likely to take up the Farsi gas fields issue

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Videsh Limited (OVL) will seek around 20-25 per cent stake in the South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf when a team of officials of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) visit New Delhi next week.

Interestingly, OVL is still awaiting a green signal from the Iranian authorities for the development plan for a gas field that it had discovered two years ago.

The Hinduja Group has also evinced interest in the $7.5-billion South Pars Phase-12 (SP-12) project but OVL’s pursuit is independent of it. OVL has not approached Petropars, the unit of NIOC which holds the rights for the field, for picking a stake through a joint venture with the Hindujas.

Both OVL and the Hindujas had in the past signed separate MoUs with Petropars for SP-12 and are independently talking to NIOC. “If the Hindujas are able to convince Iran to give them a stake in the field, the state-run firm will welcome them in the consortium formed by Petropars,” officials in OVL said.

OVL officials are expected to take up the issue of granting development rights for the offshore Farsi gas fields for which it, along with Indian Oil Corporation and Oil India, has submitted a $5-billion development plan. OVL would also seek to negotiate getting liquefied natural gas (LNG) in return for its efforts in both the projects.

OVL, the lead partner in the three-way joint venture for the Farsi block, in April this year had submitted a master development plan for gas discovery in the offshore block. The discovery, which was subsequently named Farzad-B gas field, has in-place reserves of up to 21.68 trillion cubic feet (tcf) gas of which recoverable reserves may be 12.8 tcf.

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