ONGC confirms bid for Caspian Sea blocks

Jan 13, 2007 01:00 AM

Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) said it was invited by Maersk Oil to participate in the bidding for buying a 30 % stake in two Caspian Sea blocks.
"ONGC Videsh Ltd was invited by Maersk Oil to participate in the bidding of the proposed divestment of 30 % of participating interest of Maersk Oil Turkmenistan BV Gas in this Block," ONGC informed.

OVL was shortlisted for further negotiation with the Maersk Oil. Pursuant to these negotiations, the agreements are likely to be signed in near future subject to the approval by the host Government, it said.
South Caspian Basin contains largest proven oil and gas reserves in Central Asian Region of the Caspian and encompasses the State of Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkmenistan.

Block 11-12 is located in offshore Turkmenistan at north-eastern margin of the South Caspian Basin and 35 Km north east of giant Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli field, which is operated by British Petroleum.
"The block is contiguous with the proven fields in Kura-Karti Basin to the west, West Turkmen Basin in the east and Asppheron-PreBalkan Basin to the west," ONGC said. The block 11-12 is being operated by a consortium of Maersk Oil Turkmenistan BV Gas, a subsidiary of Maersk Oil a Denmark registered company with 80 % participating interest along with Wintershall having 20 % participating interest.

Meanwhile, ONGC will offer stakes in its deepwater blocks off India's east coast to Brazil's Petrobras, Italy's ENI, Norway's Norsk Hydro and Malaysia's Petronas, Chairman R.S. Sharma said.
"We will be giving them a participatory interest in our deepwater blocks," Sharma told at an investment conference. He said a negotiation team of ONGC officials was discussing the issue with counterparts from the various firms.
"We are not very good at deepwater and ultra-deepwater exploration and therefore we need partners," he said.

Shares in the company closed 1.1 % higher to 924.85 rupees in a strong Mumbai market. In December, ONGC said gas reserves at finds in the Krishna Godavari basin off the country's east coast could exceed market expectations of 21-22 tcf, but the final numbers would depend on further drilling.
It has found a 28-30 meter net gas pay zone at a depth of about 5,400 meter in one of the basin's blocks, and has also struck a big field in Mahanadi basin.

Source: PIN/PTI
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