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India has become the latest country to signal its interest in a return to Iran’s upstream post-sanctions, with the submission of a revised development plan by state energy giant Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) for an offshore gas field first discovered by an all-Indian consortium in mid-2007.
Alongside fellow state companies Indian Oil Corporation and Oil India, ONGC’s overseas arm ONGC Videsh made the Farzad-B gas discovery with its fourth exploration well on the Farsi Block offshore Iran — the final commitment well under a license awarded to the consortium in late-2002 (MEES, 6 January 2003). But despite submitting a master development plan for the discovery to the state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in late-2008, the $3bn plan never made it to the implementation stage as a combination of financial difficulties and the threat of US sanctions impeded progress.
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