March 2, 2008 / 5:12 PM / 11 years ago

Iran, ONGC finalising Gulf field proposal-report

TEHRAN, March 2 (Reuters) - Iran’s state offshore company and India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC.BO) have finalised a financial proposal for developing a gas and oil field in the Gulf, an Iranian news agency reported on Sunday.

Mahmoud Zirakchianzadeh, managing director of the Iranian company, told the ISNA news agency the two sides had completed negotiations about the Farsi field in Tehran on Saturday.

“In our negotiations ... their financial proposal about the development on Farsi field was received and finalised,” he was quoted as saying.

ONGC will now begin technical studies of 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, ISNA said, giving no further details.

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

It was not immediately clear whether the finalised proposal announced by Zirakchianzadeh represented an addition to the agreement on operating the Farsi block.

Last May, a senior Iranian oil official said he could not confirm a report that ONGC and partners had found gas reserves of up to 10 trillion cubic feet and 1 billion barrels of oil in the Farsi block.

In 2006, Iran — the world’s fourth largest oil exporter which also sits atop the largest gas reserves after Russia — said ONGC Videsh had found oil in this block.

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.

ONGC and Hinduja Group are also looking at joining the development of Iran’s South Pars Phase 12 gas field and the country’s Azadegan oil field. (Reporting by Hashem Kalantari; Editing by Erica Billingham )

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