Farzad-B Gas Field

News: Recently, Iran gave the Farzad-B Gas Field to Petropars, a domestic gas producer. This is a setback for India’s energy ties with Iran as ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) had discovered the gas field in 2008 and has been part of the ongoing cooperation on that front.

Farzad B Gas Field:

  • Farzad-B is an off-shore natural gas field 20 kilometres off Farsi Island in Iran.
  • The gas field was discovered in 2008 by a consortium of three Indian companies, led by the state-owned ONGC Videsh with a 40% stake; the other companies were Indian Oil Corporation (40%) and Oil India (20%).
  • The contract for exploration of the field was signed in 2002 by Indian consortium comprising ONGC Videsh, Indian Oil Corporation and Oil India.
  • The contract expired in 2009 after declaration of commerciality of the field, based on the gas discovery. It has gas reserves of more than 19 trillion cubic feet. ONGC has invested approximately USD 100 million.
  • Since then, the consortium has been trying to secure the contract for development of the field.
  • The major dispute between India and Iran was over setting up of two pipelines, and also over money to be quoted on the development plan.
  • Around 75% of the deal was finalised by May 2018, when the US unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal and announced sanctions on Iran. In January 2020, India was informed that in the immediate future, Iran would develop the field on its own and would like to involve India appropriately at a later stage.