India’s Reliance Industries is exploring opportunities to invest in Iraq’s oil and gas fields, according to chairman Mukesh Ambani.
He said India’s petroleum minister, Veerappa Moily, asked Reliance “to consider investing in Iraq.”
“We are looking at the Nasiriya giant oilfield and three other oil and gas blocks in the Middle Furat region,” Ambani said.
The Economic Times reported Ambani’s comments Friday, which reportedly came on the sidelines of an event also attended by Iraq’s deputy prime minister Hussain Saleh al-Shahristani.
Reliance is India’s largest private sector company.
Last year, it sold to Chevron its 100% interest in the Rovi and Sarta blocks of Kurdistan.
Dubai-based Reliance Exploration and Production had acquired them in 2007 directly from Kurdistan, a region of Iraq that claims autonomy, triggering blacklisting threats from the Iraqi government.
Iraq has replaced Iran as India’s second biggest crude supplier. Iran is under international sanctions for its nuclear program.
On Wednesday, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards detained an Indian oil tanker carrying Iraqi crude oil.
The “MT Desh Shanti” was reportedly stopped in international waters and forced into the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.
Iranian authorities claimed the Indian vessel was leaking oil and polluting Iran’s territorial waters.