April 10, 2009 1:36:03 pm
Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC),Reliance Industries and Indian Oil Corp (IOC),the nation’s biggest companies,are coming together for the first time,to bid jointly for a vast oilfield in Venezuela,which will require an investment of USD 16-18 billion.
ONGC Videsh Ltd,the overseas arm of the state explorer,is talking to Reliance,IOC and Oil India for jointly bidding for a 40 per cent stake in a field in the vast Orinoco heavy crude oil belt.
“We are evaluating the three massive fields that are on offer and will decide on bidding shortly,” a top OVL official said in New Delhi.
Fields in the Carabobo region of the Orinoco belt would produce tar-like oil,which would need to be upgraded to higher-quality synthetic crude. Venezuelan state-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PdVSA) will retain the remaining 60 per cent.
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“The investment required is massive. The crude upgrade facility alone will cost USD 6-8 billion and so we are looking at partnership with other companies,” he said.
IOC may take a 2.5-5 per cent stake while OIL has been assigned a 2.5 per cent stake. The remaining 32.5-35 per cent will be split almost equally between OVL and Reliance.
Each of the three fields on offer can produce 2,00,000 to 4,00,000 barrels of oil per day (10-20 million tonnes a year).
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