US eyeing sanctions on three Indian firms over Iran ties
Iran Press TV
Sun Mar 8, 2015 1:58PM
Speculations are rising that the US administration may impose sanctions on several top India oil companies over their energy ties with Iran.
The companies that have been identified by the US government accountability office (US GAO) are Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL).
They are found "to have engaged in commercial activity in Iran's energy sector between November 8, 2013, and December 1, 2014,' the US GAO has said in a statement, as reported by the Times of India.
The three have been named for their stake in the Farsi offshore block in Iran.
'The firm's (IOC's) 2013-14 annual report stated that the firm has a 40 per cent participating share in the Farsi Block Project'.
The US Iran Sanctions Act provides for steps against persons, including foreign firms, investing more than $20 million in Iran's energy sector in any 12-month period.
All the three firms gave similar response to US GAO saying the 'exploration contract (for Farsi block) expired in 2009' and that they had 'not carried out any activity after 2007 in the Farsi Block'.
According to GAO, the US has not imposed sanctions on any firm for their Iran energy ties since 1998.
OVL, IOC and OIL explored for oil and gas in Iran's Farsi block and proposed investing $5.5 billion to produce gas from the 21.68 trillion cubic foot discovery they made in the offshore area located near the Saudi Arabian border.
They, however, haven't invested in the development due to differences over the contract with the Iranian government, the Times of India added.
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