A senior Iranian oil official has demanded India increase its offered price to secure a major contract for LNG deliveries.
A senior Iranian oil official has demanded India increase its offered price to secure a major contract for LNG deliveries. The two countries signed the contract in June 2005.
"We have told the Indian side that if they have a serious desire for this contract, they have to suggest a proper price in negotiations, because their current price is low," said Nosratollah Seifi, head of the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC).
The deal with Iran to import five million tonnes of LNG annually over 25 years from 2009 includes the option to purchase an additional 2.5 million tonnes per year.
The deal hit a snag in May 2006 when Iran told New Delhi that its Supreme Economic Council had not approved the deal, valued at US $3.25 per million British thermal units. Iran demanded the figure should be revised following a sharp rise in the oil price.
Indian oil minister Murli Deora has responded by saying his country will pay the higher price for extra LNG quantities from Iran if it honours the existing contract for five million tonnes. But Seifi has rejected the ultimatum.
"The Indian side has given its suggestions a number of times but has not announced its official view," said Seifi.
India is also considering a proposed US $7 billion gas pipeline from Iran via Pakistan.
India's oil minister travelled to Iran on 26 March in an attempt to salvage the US $22 billion deal. One Indian newspaper claims Deora will offer the price asked for.