OMEL gets 30 % stake in Caspian Sea block

Oct 22, 2007 02:00 AM

ONGC-Mittal Energy Ltd (OMEL), a joint venture of ONGC Videsh and Mittal Investment Sarl (MIS), has acquired 30 % stake in an exploration block in offshore Turkmenistan in the Caspian Sea.
"Covering an area of 5,663 sq km, the block is located close to discovered and producing fields, and contains a number of prospects with significant reserve potential," the company said.

OVL is state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp's overseas arm while MIS is steel baron Lakshmi N. Mittal's holding firm. Discoveries have been made in adjoining areas such as Ashrafi and Karabakh, the release said but did not give the acquisition cost. The Block 11-12 was earlier awarded by the Government of Turkmenistan to Maersk Oil in December 2002.
"The consortium now comprises of OMEL, German company Wintershall with 34 % and Denmark's Maersk Oil with 36 % participating interest," it said.

Earlier, Wintershall and Maersk had acquired seismic data and drilled one exploratory well in the block. The well had provided indications of hydrocarbons. Another well is planned to be drilled by the new consortium during 2008.
Turkmenistan block is the fourth asset of OMEL. It had earlier acquired interest in a producing asset in Syria, which is currently producing about 130,000 barrels of oil per day. The company was also awarded two highly prospective blocks in Nigerian deepwater -- OPL 279 and OPL 285.

"OMEL is pursuing hydrocarbon assets in certain other countries also, some of which are in an advanced stage of negotiations," it said.
ONGC chairman and managing director and OVL chairman R.S. Sharma said this exploration block in Turkmenistan was a significant milestone in the group's growth path.

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