Videocon to invest in Sudan and West Asian oil fields

Apr 16, 2005 02:00 AM

Videocon Industries will spend about Rs 800 crore, $ 183 mm, in overseas exploration and production activities over the next two years, according to its Chairman Venugopal Dhoot.
The Videocon group plans to acquire up to 76 % share in one or more oil fields in Sudan with an initial investment of $ 100 mm, Mr Dhoot said.

Mr Dhoot was in Sudan, where he signed an MoU on mutual co-operation with the Khartoum State of the Republic of Sudan for investing and developing projects in the oil sector. The MoU was signed by Abdelhalem Ismail Almutaafi, the Governor of Khartoum State of the Republic of Sudan, and Mr Dhoot.
The Chairman of Videocon confirmed that he had "almost" finalised an arrangement for exploration of crude oil through a joint venture in Sudan. He said that the amount of investment will depend on the total project cost, tentatively around $ 83 mm, which is being worked out by a team of oil experts in London.

Videocon Industries is likely to pick up between 76 % in an offshore Sudanese field located in the Red Sea, which it will explore along with a consortium of global partners, said an official press release quoting Mr Dhoot. Mr Dhoot said a technical team will soon travel to Sudan to identify the areas in the Sudanese oil business in which Videocon could participate.
"The whole process will take time as we have to follow the rules and regulations in Sudan that apply to business and foreign investments," he said.

He added that the arrangements in Sudan were broadly in line with the strategy of the group to pursue its oil and gas interests, both nationally and internationally. He said Videocon International will also look for similar arrangements in other oil-rich destinations such as former Soviet Union, West Asia and Africa.
Videocon is a $ 1.5 bn group which focuses on manufacturing and marketing of consumer durables. It also has a growing interest in the energy sector in India.

Petrocon India, formerly Videocon Petroleum, a Videocon group company, is part of the consortium that operates the Ravva oil field in the Krishna-Godavari basin.
Ravva is one of the major joint venture oil fields, producing around 50,000 bpd of oil. It is operated by Cairn and has one of the lowest operating costs in the world, with a cost of production less than $ 1 per barrel of crude oil produced.

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