ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), the overseas arm of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp, has sought the doubling of stake in Iran's Yadavaran oilfield in lieu of the earlier earmarked Jufeyr field that has been given to a Belarus firm.
Iran had offered OVL 100 per cent developing rights of Jufeyr oilfield in 2005 and 10 per cent of Yadavaran oilfield in lieu of India importing 5 million tonne a year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) worth $22 billion from that country.
"We were in March 2007 told (that) the Government of Belarus had signed an MoU with Iran and Belarusneft (Belarus's national oil company) was negotiating Master Development Plan for Jufeyr field," a company official said.
OVL, he said, has told National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) that it would not come in the way of Iran awarding Jufeyr field development to Belarusneft but "we are well within our right to seek substitution of the Jufeyr field with additional 10 per cent interest in Yadavaran field".
OVL subsequently laid claim over an additional 10 per cent participating interest in Yadavaran field, the majority developing rights of which have been awarded to a Chinese company.
The Indian firm had submitted Master Development Plan (MDP) and a revised MDP for the Jufeyr field when Tehran decided to get Balarusneft of Belarus as operator, he said.
India's plans to import 5 million tonne of LNG from Iran beginning 2010 are in limbo after Tehran sought renegotiation of gas price.
Despite a consortia of Indian Oil, GAIL and Bharat Petroleum signing a legally biding LNG Sale Purchase Agreement with National Iranian Gas Export Co (NIGEC), NIOC (the parent firm of NIGEC) has refused to endorse the deal without New Delhi agreeing to pay a higher price.