Iraq offers 3 oil blocks, to renegotiate with OVL for another

New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) Iraq has agreed to offer three discovered oil blocks to India in the Middle Furat oil fields, Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily said Thursday.

Iraq is also willing to renegotiate with state-run explorer ONGC's foreign arm ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) the contract for oil block 8 in Iraq, which has been pending for almost a decade.

Addressing a press conference here after his return from Iraq, the petroleum minister said Iraq has also shown interest in Indian Oil's 15 million tonnes per annum refinery project in Paradip, Orissa.

Moily led a delegation to the 17th session of the India-Iraq Joint Commission on Economic and Technical Cooperation. The Joint Commission meeting was taking place after a gap of seven years.

Iraq in recent months has replaced sanctions-hit Iran as India's second-largest crude oil supplier after Saudi Arabia. Iraq, which produces 3.15 million barrels of crude a day and plans to double output by 2020, has promised to meet India's additional energy requirements with its increased production.

Moily, who also went to Turkmenistan, said the TAPI (Turkemistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) member countries were committed to the gas pipeline project and that a decision on the consortium leader to lay the network would be taken soon.

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