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India group inks Iran oil deal

New Delhi, Dec. 26: A consortium of Indian companies, led by the Oil and Natural Gas Commission (Videsh), has signed a contract with Tehran to carry out exploration in the Farsi block in the Persian Gulf.

This is seen as the first step towards India’s involvement in the Iranian oil sector. ONGC (Videsh) and the Indian Oil Corporation equally share 80 per cent of the consortium’s equity, with OIL owning 20 per cent.

The contract with Iranian Oil Company was signed yesterday in front of India’s ambassador to Iran, P.P. Haer. It commits $27 million for exploration.

Foreign ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said oil discovery exceeding 500 million barrels is expected.

Iranian authorities, welcoming the Indian investment, expressed the hope this initiative would lead to increased Indian participation in their hydrocarbon sector. They said such cooperation would help consolidate further the countries’ historical ties.

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