Iran will award Farzad B gas field to domestic Iranian contractors if India withdraws from negotiations over the field’s development, Tehran Times reported.
The two countries are currently negotiating a $3-4 billion deal for Indian state refiners to obtain development rights in the Persian Gulf natural gas field, Dawn reported in April 2018.
However, US President Donald Trump’s decision to reimpose sanctions on companies doing business in the Islamic Republic has raised speculation over whether India will remain committed to signing an agreement.
Managing director of Pars Oil and Gas Company (POGC), Mohammad Meshkinfam, said that domestic Iranian firms are capable of developing the field in the event of an Indian pull out.
However, the expertise of foreign companies will be needed to complete the development of the South Pars oil layer. “The oil layer development project is a little more complicated and for that our focus is more on foreign contractors,” he admitted.
“Of course, we are already producing oil in this field, but we need to cooperate with a foreign company to maintain and increase the production level”, he added.
Despite the uncertainty, Meshkinfam sounded optimism that India’s interest in the field would not be affected. “I don’t think that the U.S.’s decision on leaving the nuclear deal will affect the Indian side,” he said.
“Currently, we don’t know for sure what their [the Indian side] decision will be, however we are ready to work with them,” he added.
Following Trump’s announcement that the US would leave the Iran nuclear deal, national security adviser, John Bolton, told reporters that companies will be given between 90 and 180 days to end their commercial agreements with Iranian entities, according to Reuters.
It is not yet known how countries with business interests to Iran will respond to the renewal of US sanctions. French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, said over the weekend that European politicians may push for countermeasures to enable companies to continue working in Iran despite US sanctions, The Guardian reported.