India, Iran to cooperate in hydrocarbons

Tuesday, 28 January 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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Iran and India Monday signed a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) in the hydrocarbon sector that will establish a joint working group to further cooperation in exploration, production and supply of oil and gas, as also in services and research and development.

NEW DELHI: This is the seventh agreement to be signed during Iranian President Mohammad Khatami's visit to India. The other six, including one on strategic cooperation, were signed Saturday.

Indian Petroleum Minister Ram Naik will visit Iran in the next three months for further discussions on taking the cooperation forward.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said "Iran as a major supplier of oil and gas and India as a major purchaser need each other. It is to be studied how best we can cooperate with each other.

"This includes the supply of LNG (liquefied natural gas) and gas through the pipeline route. To find out how best this could be done, the memorandum will be followed up seriously," Kharrazi said.

Asked about India being given equity oil, he said Iranian law did not permit this "but all these things will be looked into".

In December, Iran had awarded a contract for exploration of a Farsi block to a consortium led by ONGC Videsh Limited, the overseas arm of prospecting major Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.

"Iran has plenty of natural gas and we have offered consultancy for compressed natural gas and other aspects in the oil and gas sector.

Asked about LNG supplies from Iran, Naik said: "We have still to study what will be the requirement and what price it will be offered at. These will be discussed in detail during my visit".
Source: IANS

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