Iran ready to revive liquefied natural gas deal with India


New Delhi : Iran is ready to revive the stalled 5-million metric tonne per annum (MMTPA) liquefied natural gas (LNG) deal with India, said an Iranian minister after meeting Indian Petroleum Minister Murli Deora here Wednesday.

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The Iranian minister also invited Indian companies to invest in Iranian gas fields and natural gas liquefaction projects so that they could bring additional LNG supplies to India.

“It is because Iran does not have enough LNG supplies to meet India’s additional requirement,” said Danish Jafri, Iran’s minister for economic affairs and finance, at a joint press briefing held after the meeting.

“The chapter on the LNG deal is not closed and Iran is ready for further discussions on it,” he said.

“The Iranian side came out with the response after I raised the issue in the meeting,” Deora said.

India signed a deal with Iran in June 2005 for contracted 5 MMTPA LNG supply for 25 years at a price of $3.215 per million British thermal unit (MBTU).

But later, the negotiations broke down when Iran insisted on renegotiating the deal.

The June 2005 contract had linked LNG prices with the Brent crude oil price with a cap at $31 per barrel.

But Iran wanted to raise this ceiling to $55, raising the LNG price to $4.78 per MBTU.

Indian rejected Iran’s demand and ever since the talks have been stalled.

On the proposed Iran-Pakistan-Indian gas pipeline, Jafri said Iran was close to completing discussions with Pakistan and is expected to strike a similar deal with India.

“We are near finalising discussions with Pakistan on the proposed gas pipeline and hope to do a similar deal with India,” the Iranian minister said.