Iran calls on India to increase oil imports

Iranian oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has expressed hope that the Indian government will support its refineries to increase oil imports from Iran as the international sanctions on the Islamic Republic have already been lifted.

"I am sure that this visit will contribute to expansion of economic ties between the two countries particularly in energy sector," Shana news agency quoted Zanganeh as saying at a meeting with his visiting Indian counterpart, Dharmendra Pradhan, in Tehran.

He added that Iran is interested in luring investment from Indian companies for its oil and gas sector.

The oil minister further touched upon recent talks over cooperating between Delhi and Tehran in Iran's Farzad-B gas field and expressed hope for finalizing the talks in near future.

The field is a rich source of gas and oil condensates situated in southern Iran. A preliminary contract for the exploration and expansion of the field was signed between Iran and a consortium of three Indian companies in 2000. The Indian sides, however, went no further than the exploration phase.

Zanganeh also called on India to invest in Iran's petrochemical projects saying that the country is ready to provide the Indian companies that invest in petrochemical projects with natural gas. The oil minister also voiced Iran's interest in exporting gas to India.

The talks over cooperation in oil and gas projects took place while Delhi has failed to clear its outstanding debt of $6.5 billion to Iran over the past oil purchase.

India's oil imports from Iran fell by about a quarter in 2015 dropping to 220,000 barrels per day as Indian refiners slowed purchases early in the year to keep imports within the limits of international sanctions against Iran, said a January Reuters report.

However, later in May Indian refiners together imported 506,100 bpd oil from Iran, a jump of about 135 percent from February.

Source: Trend