(EnergyAsia, May 25 2010, Tuesday)—Five Indian firms could face US action after the General Accountability Office included them in its list of 41 foreign companies helping Iran develop its oil and gas sector.

New Delhi, however, is not expected to keep silent if Washington attempts to impose sanctions on Indian companies for investing in Iran or supplying refined products to Tehran.

Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), ONGC Videsh, Oil India Limited and  Petronet LNG, together with the UK-based Hinduja group, are the five Indian firms are on the GAO’s list, which was compiled through open source information and questionnaire sent to the oil industry.

State-owned IOC, OVL, OIL and ONGC have invested nearly US$5 billion in developing the Farzad-B natural gasfield in the Farsi block and South Pars assets.

Another Indian company, privately-held Reliance Industries, was a leading gasoline and diesel supplier to Iran till last year. However, it was not included in the GAO list because it has not invested in any infrastructure project in the Islamic republic.

The GAO report cited provisions in the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, which allows the US government to act against companies from third countries which invest more than US$20 million in Iran’s  hydrocarbon sector.