AFP: Leading state-run refiner Indian Oil Corp (IOC) said Wednesday it has signed an agreement to put forward a joint proposal to develop a gasfield in Iran, a project estimated to cost three billion dollars. The memorandum of understanding was signed Monday with Petropars, a unit of the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC), said an IOC spokesman. The two firms will draw up a joint proposal for exploiting the gasfield and setting up liquefied natural gas liquefaction facilities. AFP

NEW DELHI - Leading state-run refiner Indian Oil Corp (IOC) said Wednesday it has signed an agreement to put forward a joint proposal to develop a gasfield in Iran, a project estimated to cost three billion dollars.

The memorandum of understanding was signed Monday with Petropars, a unit of the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC), said an IOC spokesman.

The two firms will draw up a joint proposal for exploiting the gasfield and setting up liquefied natural gas liquefaction facilities.

The signing followed talks between India's Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar and Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh in September in Vienna.

"The investment decision will be taken once necessary agreements are entered into with NIOC (National Iranian Oil Co), and approvals obtained from the competent authority for such investment by both Indian Oil and Petropars," IOC said in a statement.

The size of India's investment in the project would be finalised only after completion of a detailed feasibility report, it said without giving a timeframe.

Earlier this week an IOC official said the firm was in talks with the Iranian company about investing in the gasfield in the South Pars region.

Energy-hungry India, which relies heavily on imported fuel, has been aggressively seeking investments in foreign oil and gasfields as its economy rapidly expands.

India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp plans to acquire a 55 percent stake from Canadian firm Antrim Energy in an offshore block in western Australia. Over the last few years ONGC has bought oil and gas assets in Angola, Iraq, Libya, Myanmar, Sudan, Syria and Vietnam.