India and Iran run into dispute over award of Farzad B gas field

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Reproduced with permission from Press TV report

Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says Iran is not worried about India’s decision to cut oil imports from the Islamic Republic, noting that there are plenty of customers willing to purchase the country’s crude.

Zangeneh said on the sidelines of a cabinet session on Wednesday that Iran was open to negotiations with the Indian side to boost cooperation but stressed that Tehran would not accept the language of threat.

“There should be sensible conditions in the negotiations. We cannot sign a contract under threats. The language of threat is not a good one,” the minister said.

“India is one of our good customers and we are willing to boost cooperation. If there is a cut in our exports to India, we will have no troubles as there are many other customers,” he said.

Under an agreement signed last year between Iran and India, Zangeneh said, New Delhi was expected to deliver its proposal by September 2016, but it failed to do so.

He added that India also failed to offer an acceptable profitable proposal to Iran by December 2016.

Zangeneh’s remarks came after Indian state refiners said they had decided to cut oil imports from Iran in 2017/18 by a fifth in an impasse over a giant Iranian gas field which New Delhi has been coveting for years.

“We are cutting gradually, and we will cut more if there is no progress in the matter of the award of Farzad B gas field to our company,” an Indian source said.

The Farzad B gas field in the Persian Gulf is estimated to hold 21.7 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas, of which 12.8 tcf is recoverable.

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