Iran is believed to be ready to offer a 40% stake in a giant gas field in the Persian Gulf to India's ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) and non-resident Indian (NRI) business conglomerate of the Hindujas.
On the second day of talks the two held with a delegation led by Iran's deputy oil minister and managing director of National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) Seifollah Jashnsaz, sources in the know said that Tehran offered a 40% interest in the development of Phase-12 of South Pars gas field. London-based Hinduja Group is also interested in the $7.5 billion South Pars Phase-12 (SP-12) project, but the two entities are independently pursuing the deal, the sources said.
Iran, they said, stated that it can offer a maximum 40% interest in SP-12 to Indians and it was for OVL and the Hindujas to decide among themselves how it would be split among them.
ONGC Videsh, the overseas investment arm of the state explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), was clamouring for 25%-30%, they said, adding that the remaining stake could be taken by the Hindujas.
Sources said OVL wanted liquefied natural gas (LNG) in return for its efforts in the project. SP-12 is to produce 3 billion cubic feet per day of gas, two-thirds of which is to be converted into LNG for export.
OVL wants at least half of the 10 million tonnes a year of LNG to be produced from the SP-12 project.