Nearly a year after it blocked India’s $5 billion deal to take stake in Kashagan oilfield, Kazakhstan has offered ONGC Videsh Ltd a stake in a medium sized Abai oil block in the Caspian Sea.
The block Abai, which was previously being operated by Statoil of Norway, is adjacent to OVL’s Satpayev exploration block.
Kazakhstan made the offer at the meeting of the Joint Working Group in Astana late last month, official sources said.
OVL, the overseas arm of state-owned ONGC, has been offered 25 per cent interest in the Abai block, which according to Kazakhstan government estimates has 2.8 billion barrels of oil reserves.
However, the Indian firm believes the reserves may not that high and will study the data before accepting the offer, they said.
Kazakhstan had last year blocked OVL’s $5 billion deal to buy an 8.4 per cent stake in the Kashagan oilfield from US energy giant ConocoPhillips. Kazakhstan exercised its pre-emption right to first buy the ConocoPhillips’ stake and then sell it off to Chinese firm CNPC.
In 2005, India had lost a $4.18 billion deal to buy PetroKazakhstan to China.