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ONGC Videsh scouts in W Africa

Hemangi Balse & S Ravindran in Mumbai | February 03, 2004 10:46 IST

After successful forays into Russia and Sudan, ONGC Videsh Ltd, the wholly owned overseas subsidiary of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, is planning to foray into West Africa.

OVL is planning to pick up a substantial stake in two exploration and production fields in a West African country and has initiated talks with a European company.

It is planning to pick up a 50 per cent stake in one of the fields.

Atul Chandra, managing director of ONGC Videsh, confirmed the company was looking at West Africa, including Angola, for exploration and production of oil. However, he pointed out no decision had been taken as yet.

"We are talking to a few companies that are willing to divest their stakes in the fields," Chandra said.

The company is going ahead with plans to have a global presence and oil equity abroad.
OVL bought its first equity oil in Sudan in May 2003, 25 per cent equity in the Greater Nile Oil Project, from Talisman BV, Amsterdam.

The company has several projects in different parts of the world.

ONGC Videsh is producing gas from two offshore fields in Vietnam. In Russia, it has stakes in one of the largest oil and gas fields in offshore Sakhalin. In Iraq, OVL is the sole licensee in an onland exploration block.

The company also has a 40 per cent stake as operator in an exploration and development contract for an exploration block in Iran.

In Myanmar, the company has a 20 per cent stake in an offshore exploration block.

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