ONGC gets Iran nod for development of Farsi gas block

ONGC will soon be able to develop gas blocks in Iran with the National Iranian Oil Corporation (NIOC) approving the commercial viability report prepared by ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) and its consortium partners on the discovery made in Iran's Farsi offshore block.

OVL and its partners Indian Oil Corporation and Oil India Ltd had submitted the commercial viability report for the approval of NIOC in December last year. The block is estimated to hold recoverable gas reserves of about 12.5 trillion cubic feet.

The ONGC consortium  has already invested $90 million in exploration in the field and plans to invest around $3 billion to develop the gas field. The block also holds reserves of over one billion barrels of oil.

Iran and India, meanwhile, have decided to improve banking and insurance linkages to encourage two-way investments.

During a two-day meeting of the India-Iran joint commission, co-chaired by external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee and Iranian economic affairs minister Shamseddin Hossein, the two sides also decided to extend the scope of their economic and trade relations.

"In the field of energy, there was an agreement to use the capabilities and capacities of Indian corporations in the exploration of oil and gas in Iran and take necessary measures accordingly," Hossein said.