Iran has signed an initial agreement with Gazprom for the development of the Farzad B gas field, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told Argus Media in an interview on May 30, 2017, in what is the latest episode of the saga over the field which Tehran had been taking its time to award to an Indian consortium.
Asked about whether he had discussed the Farzad B field at a recent meeting with Gazprom, Zanganeh told Argus:
«Yes. We have signed an initial agreement with them for Farzad, the North Pars and Kish fields.»
Earlier this year, India was said to have decided to reduce its crude oil imports from Iran in a kind of retaliation for Tehran delaying the license decision on the Farzad B gas field.
Farzad B is estimated to contain over 350 billion cu m of natural gas, with its productive life seen at 30 years.
Indian giant ONGC has submitted a $3 bln bid for the development of the field, but Tehran has been taking its time, waiting for rival - and potentially better - offers.
As a result, India has instructed local refiners to shrink the input from Iran to 190,000 barrels daily from 240,000 bpd – close to half of the total daily import rate for Iranian crude for the period from April 2016 to this February.
Iran has managed to get to the no. 3 spot among the top crude oil exporters to India, after Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Last week, minister Zanganeh was quoted as saying that Russian companies could be stepping in to replace India in the development of the Farzad B gas field.
According to TASS, Zanganeh suggested that Russians could be the ones filling in for the Indian consortium if the deal with India fails.