What is the News?
Iran has given the Farzad B gas field to a domestic gas producer. This is a setback for India’s energy ties with Iran. As ONGC has been part of the ongoing cooperation of the Gas field.
Farzad B Gas Field:
- Farzad-B is an offshore natural gas field located on the Iranian side of the Persian Gulf.
- The gas field was discovered in 2008 by a consortium of three Indian companies led by the state-owned ONGC Videsh, Indian Oil Corporation and Oil India.
- The gas field holds 23 trillion cubic feet of in-place reserves. Of these about 60% is recoverable. It also holds gas condensates of about 5,000 barrels per billion cubic feet of gas.
Sequence of Events:
- In 2010, negotiations between the consortium led by ONGC and the National Iranian Oil Company(NIOC) to develop the gas field stalled due to sanctions against Iran by the US and EU.
- However, the sanctions were lifted after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was signed in 2015. The consortium was close to signing an agreement with Iran to develop the gas field.
- In 2018, again after the US withdrawal from the JCPOA and the reinstatement of U.S. sanctions against Iran, the negotiations broke down.
- India also froze energy ties with Iran because of the US threat in 2018.
- In 2020, Iran has said that it would develop the field on its own, and it might allow Indian involvement later.
- Further, in May 2021, the Iranian oil ministry said that a contract had been signed with a domestic company in Iran to develop the gas field.
- The Ministry of External Affairs has said that there is a possibility of India becoming a part of the projects in the Farzad B gas field in Iran at a later stage.
- This statement indicates that India is planning to re-energise ties with Iran in the gas and oil sector. Especially in the second half of the year as the US administration has held indirect talks with Iran on reviving the nuclear deal of 2015.
Source: The Hindu