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ONGC discovers new Iranian oilfield - report

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran has discovered an oilfield within its southwestern Farsi oil block, an oil official said on Saturday, without giving details of estimated reserves.

Iran, the world’s fourth-largest crude oil exporter, said in March it had finalised a financial proposal for developing the Farsi block with Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC)

“India’s ONGC has discovered a new oil field in the Farsi oil bloc of the Persian Gulf,” state broadcaster’s website IRIB quoted managing director of Iran’s state offshore oil company Mahmoud Zirakchianzadeh as saying.

“The Indian company will undertake the development of the newly discovered field upon determining that its development is economically feasible,” he added, without elaborating.

OPEC member Iran has in the past put its oil reserves at 138 billion barrels.

ONGC was reported to have previously begun technical studies for the project, which is planned to take place in two phases with an expected yield of 500 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from each phase.

The Farsi block is already operated by ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of ONGC, along with India’s top refiner Indian Oil Corp Ltd and smaller explorer Oil India Ltd.

Iran is drawing interest from Indian and Chinese firms that are keen to tap the world’s second-largest reserves of oil and gas and are less susceptible than many other companies to Western pressure over Tehran’s nuclear programme.