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Farzad B, at Top of Zangeneh’s agenda in India

New Delhi- Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh had a trip to the Indian capital on Wednesday to focus on Iran-India oil issues and also caution the world against politicizing energy market.

According to IRNA, during the meeting with his Indian counterpart Dharmendra Pradhan, he discussed the future of Farzad B oil field project.

Following the talks, he announced that certain points of differences which existed between Tehran and New Delhi regarding the development project of Iran's Farzad B gas field have now been settled.

Noting that the meeting with Pradhan mainly focused on this particular gas field, he said the two countries are making good progress now in carrying out Farzad B development plans.

Zangeneh stressed that Indian firms are keen to offer their proposals for the field within the next two months.

Farzad B gas project remains one of the most important areas of mutual cooperation between Iran and India.

Discussions on the exploitation of Farzad B gas field, which was discovered by an Indian consortium comprising OVL (ONGC Videsh Ltd), Oil India Limited and Indian Oil Corporation in 2007, have been going on for a few years.

During the February visit of the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to India upon the invitation of Prime Minister Narendar Modi, the two leaders focused on the issue and mentioned it in the Joint Statement they issued at the end of their talks. This was significant as it implied that both sides wished to resolve the issue in the very near future.

Iran and India have mulled ways of development of Farzad B gas field recently.

The two sides have focused on the offer of the consortium of OVL (ONGC Videsh Ltd.) for development of Farzad B gas field and mulled problems that National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and the Indian company have in terms of finance.

They have been firmly determined to bring talks on development of Farzad B gas field to an end.

The IEF16 was inaugurated today by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It focused on the latest developments in the global energy market, transition policies and technologies which affect the stability and future of investments in energy sector.

Iran is an active member of the executive board of the forum.

Zangeneh had already noted that during President Hassan Rouhani's recent visit to India, the two countries agreed in principle on development of Farzad B oilfield.

India's involvement and investment in developing Iran's oil and gas sectors was also put forward during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Tehran last year.

Indian oil and gas company ONGC Videsh has finalized a plan worth over three billion dollars to develop Farzad B oilfield for which it has proposed amendments.

During President Rouhani's trip to India in mid-February, 15 documents were signed by the two countries.

Indian companies have since expressed interest in investing in Farzad B oilfield which was approved by the Iranian president.

According to the statement of India's Ministry of Oil and Gas, this forum was organized with the aim of strengthening mutual understanding and greater awareness on common interests in energy sector among the member states.

72 countries are signatories of IEF Charter. 20 other countries also participated in this meeting as special invitees.

Energy consuming and producing countries from OPEC, International Energy Agency (IEA) as well as transit countries and other important countries, including Argentina, China, India, Mexico, Russia and South Africa are part of the forum meaning that it cover all continents and provides for 90% of the global oil and gas supply and demand.

The 16th edition of International Energy Forum is hosted by India and co-hosted by China and Korea. The main objective of the program are to focus on how global shifts, transition policies and new technologies influence market stability and future investment in the energy sector. Dialogue among Ministers and industry leaders on how energy security and system resiliency evolves along energy transition pathways, and meet global economic, demographic, and environmental challenges will help secure an energy future that remains affordable, productive, sustainable and fair to all, said the statement.

Furthermore, the IEF16 delegates shall discuss how global market shifts and energy transition will shape the future of energy security. Participants engage in an energy technology neutral dialogue to strengthen energy market stability and achieve global goals through enhanced market transparency, trade, and investment among producing, consuming and transit countries, it said.

Among those attending the ministerial meeting were the Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and his counterparts from the organization of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iran, Qatar, Nigeria, Japan, China, Russia and the USA, among others.

Iran's Zangeneh travelled to India with the aim of improving bilateral cooperation and sorting out some of the differences in oil sector between the two countries.

His visit to India was of high importance as he discussed the Farzad B gas field development project worth $4b as a joint venture. The two ministers discussed the revised project which is estimated to be a source of 22 trillion cubic feet of gas.

In the revised project, Iran has offered to render transport services for the sale of oil at a discounted rate while India too has said it will considerably increase its oil imports from Iran.

This was while among other aims of Indian side in talks with Iranian oil minister was to gain Tehran's approval for investment of Indian oil companies in Azadegan oil field located at southern Iran.

Zangeneh's trip came less than two months after Iranian President Mr. Hassan Rouhani' visit to India.

During Rouhani's visit, the two sides signed agreements and vowed to increase cooperation in oil and gas sector.

Rouhani also expressed Iran's interest in offering its rich oil and gas recourses to India.

Before Rouhani's trip, India had reduced its oil imports from Iran due to differences on Farzad B gas field.

However after the visit the two countries agreed on continuation of talks on this matter.

At the time, Zangeneh who was also among the dignitaries accompanying Mr. Rouhani, had a lengthy discussion with India's oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan. After the discussion, he expressed hope on future of bilateral relations and grant of development of Farzad B gas field to ONGC Videsh Ltd. which had discovered this field in the year 2008.

In his words which indicated New Delhi's interests in increasing relations with Tehran and resolving all the pending issues Pradhan said the two sides have agreed to sort out existing issues on Farzad � B gas field.

Indian oil refiners aim to increase their oil imports from Iran to 500,000 bpd in the year 2018-19. This means there would be a 25% increase in imports in year on year comparison with 2017-18.

Iran and India have historical, cultural and trade relations. Even throughout the unilateral sanctions of the west against Iran between 2012-2016, India remained as one of the biggest buyers of Iranian oil. Although the trade volume between Iran and India reduced due to sanctions, but the two sides remained as strong allies.

Currently Iran is the third largest exporter of oil to India. According to experts, Iran has the capacity to become the biggest suppliers of oil to India in near future.

India will become world's biggest consumer of hydrocarbon fuels in less than three decades.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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