An Iranian energy official has denied reports by Indian newspapers that India has proposed to invest $6.5bn to develop gas fields in Iran.
"The negotiations (between Iranian and Indian oil and gas officials) has had satisfactory progress but we have not yet reached a final agreement concerning the amount of investment by Indian companies in Iran's fields, said Director General of Iran LNG Company Ali Kheirandish, reported PressTV.
The Indian media quoted unnamed Indian sources as claiming that New Delhi has expressed interest in buying 5 million tones of LNG a year besides the quantities Tehran agreed to provide the subcontinent in 2005.
According to Indian newspapers, India also asked Iran to give it OVL-led group rights to develop the gas field it discovered in the offshore Farsi block. It sought a 20-25% stake in the overseas investment arm of ONGC.
The newspapers said that Head of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Seyfollah Jashnsaz was told to honor the 2005 LNG agreement which NIOC had previously blocked.
Kheirandish dismissed the reports, saying that he is not aware of an Indian request to buy such a quantity of LNG from Iran.
"The Indian part has made a number of offers to buy LNG from Iran that are going to be studied," he said.
An Iranian delegation headed by Jashnsaz and consisting of oil and gas officials including Iran's Deputy Oil Minister for investment affairs Hojatollah Ghanimifard, the head of Iran's Petropars company, Gholamreza Manouchehri and Ali Kheirandish were in India earlier this week to hold talks with both public and private firms.
Kheirandish said issues such as Indian investment in Iran's Phase-12 of the South Pars gas field and Iran's offshore Farsi block as well as finalizing agreements over LNG export to India were discussed during the talks.