Iran Economy NewsIran's Petropars hopes to finalise India deal

Iran’s Petropars hopes to finalise India deal

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Reuters: Iran hopes to sign a deal with Indian firms on the development of its South Pars Phase 12 field by the end of March 2011, said Gholamreza Manouchehri, managing director of the Petropars Company.

By Nidhi Verma

NEW DELHI, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Iran hopes to sign a deal with Indian firms on the development of its South Pars Phase 12 field by the end of March 2011, said Gholamreza Manouchehri, managing director of the Petropars Company.

The $7.5-billion development of the South Pars phase 12 project, which has a capacity of 3 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas, of which 2 bcf has been reserved for LNG, or 10 million tonnes a year of LNG for about 25 years, Manouchehri told reporters at energy conference Petrotech.

“We have given the proposal to the Indian side. We hope they will finalise the deal in two months,” he said. Asked if he expected the deal to be signed before the end of the current Iranian year, he said, “We hope so.”

Manouchehri said the proposal given to India included capital expenditure, non capital expenditure, remuneration, and rate of returns related to the project among others.

Iran last year offered Indian firms a 40 percent interest in the development phase of its largest gas field in return for six million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The Islamic Republic is expected to need around $25 billion a year in oil and gas industry investment to meet its target development goal in the two sectors.

With Western firms wary of investing in the Islamic state due to its nuclear row with the United States, Tehran has increasingly been looking towards energy-hungry Asian countries for investment to help exploit its vast gas and oil reserves.

India, which imports about four-fifth of its crude oil needs, is scouting of oil and gas assets abroad to meets its growing fuel demand and expanding refining capacity.

“The Indian government is encouraging national oil companies to pursue equity oil and gas opportunities overseas,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a speech.

“For these reasons, we seek to build strong economic partnerships with other countries and their oil and gas industries to the mutual benefit of each other.” (Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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