Only days after reports emerged that Russia is pushing ahead a new plan to export natural gas to Pakistan and India through Iran, there are indications about the possible source of supply for the ambitious project.
Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh told reporters on Saturday that Russian companies could take away a certain amount of the oil at a field they had developed in compensation for the investment they had made in it.
“In case the development of an oil field by Russians leads to production, they can receive a certain amount of what Iran owes them for their investment as oil,” Zanganeh was quoted by Iran’s IRNA news agency as saying.
The Iranian Minister did not say the same formula could be applied for reimbursing the Russians for their future investments in Iran’s gas industry. However, the same formula could support speculations that the recently unveiled plan to export gas to Pakistan and India would be based on the assumption that supplies would be provided from fields developed by Russians.
Those supplies could be provided from the major gas fields that Russian companies are negotiating their development with Iran. They include North Pars, Kish, Farzad A and Farzad B.
Zanganeh told reporters that Russian companies had asked to extend their deadlines for present plans for the development of the four fields.
“They have demanded to extend the deadlines for the basic agreements (over the fields) and we agreed with their request,” the Iranian minister said. “They are set to present their proposal for the four fields.”
Tehran hosted Russia’s President Vladimir Putin last Wednesday. During the visit, the two countries signed several agreements to promote cooperation over energy issues.
The agreements included one that envisaged exports of natural gas from Iran to Pakistan and thereon India by Russian companies – most importantly Gazprom.—Agencies