Indian Oil Cos Could Invest $5B in Iran Gas Field Devt

LONDON (Dow Jones Newswires), Sept. 7, 2009

ONGC Videsh Ltd. and its partners Indian Oil Corp. and Oil India Ltd. could invest $5 billion to develop a massive gas field they discovered in offshore Iran, an official Iranian agency said Saturday.

The information comes amid the uncertainty in the Iranian oil industry with the appointment of a non-oil expert, Masoud Mirkazemi, as petroleum minister, and the threat of additional international sanctions over the country's nuclear program.

Shana, the Iranian oil ministry's news agency, said ONGC Videsh submitted a development plan for a large gas discovery in the Farsi offshore block, in which it has an interest with the two other Indian concerns.

Shana cited Oil India's IPO prospectus as saying "current estimates for the cost of developing the Farzad-B offshore gas field pursuant to the master development plan submitted by the consortium is about $5 billion over a 7-8 year period, which we do not expect would begin during 2009."

Shana said the field's recoverable reserves may be 12.8 trillion cubic feet.  

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