In order to meet growing energy needs, India is set to buy stakes in Iran’s LNG terminal based at Tombak Port, southern Iran.

India will be picking stakes in both offshore gas discovered in the Farsi offshore block, also known as Binaloud, as well as developing gas fields. The project consists of storage and loading facilities at the port.

India is reportedly talking to Iranian government officials, which will look into the details of how to proceed with the stake sale. However, a foreign ministry official said that India will have a presence in both developing the offshore block and laying pipeline to get the gas out at the LNG terminal. The gas can also be sent to India through LNG ships or via pipeline that is still needs to be deliberated on.

According to another government official, a handful of Indian government owned companies headed by ONGC Videsh Limited and few private India firms will form a consortium that will pick up stakes in the project. As per estimates, the Farsi offshore block has a gas reservoir of 21.68 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of which 12.8 tcf of gas and 212 million barrels of condensate are recoverable.

News of India’s interest in the project is one of relatively few from the world’s East; the expected lifting of international sanctions against Iran has been one of the talking points of 2015, with particular emphasis on the anticipated ‘gold rush’ of investment from Western countries and businesses. Some of the biggest names in the chemicals industry – and the industrial gases business – have been linked with starting or reviving interests in Iran of late.

The topic was also arguably the most keenly anticipated presentation at the MENA Industrial Gas Conference 2015 in Dubai, UAE this month, hosted by gasworld, when Iranian national Dr. Fatemeh Didehvar discussed the current and future potential for the gases industry in the country.

She explained, “The monumental agreement signed in July 2015 between Iran and major global powers will see intensive inspections and restrictions on its nuclear programme. But it will also see Iran benefit from more than $100bn in assets currently frozen, and a large potential foreign market with consumer expenditure to be over $170bn.”

“Iran is home to the fourth-largest proven crude oil reserves and the second-largest natural gas reserves. There is a huge opportunity for global energy companies, especially European firms.”

Reports suggest Iran expects to bring no less than five LNG projects online in the next three years, with India now known to be keen to explore the potential of at least one of those projects.