Cabinet nod for OVL stake buy in Russia’s Vankor oil fields

New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved the acquisition by ONGC Videsh Ltd of 11 per cent stake in the Russian state-run Vankor oil fields from Rosneft Oil Company for $930 million, which will take OVL’s overall ownership in the project to 26 per cent.

“The acquisition of stake in Vankorneft will provide 3.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent (MTOE) to OVL by 2017,” a petroleum ministry statement here said.

OVL, the overseas arm of state-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), had last year bought 15 per cent stake in the Vankor fields for $1.268 billion.

“It will also provide an opportunity to Indian public sector oil and gas companies to acquire new technologies from Rosneft,” it added.

The acquisitions come at a time when oil prices have fallen by more than two-thirds, from over $100 a barrel to under $30 between June 2014 and January 2016. Prices have recovered somewhat this year, rising to nearly $50 in May, before dropping to around $40-45 a barrel in recent weeks.

Recently, an Indian consortium of public sector firms comprising of Oil India, Indian Oil Corp and Bharat PetroResources acquired 23.9 per cent stake in the Vankor fields at a cost of a little over $2 billion, which will give them 6.56 MTOE.

“Earlier in May 2016, OVL completed the formalities on acquisition of 15 per cent stake in Vankorneft at a cost of $1.284 billion which gave OVL 4.11 MTOE,” the statement said.

The daily production from Vankor is around 421,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil on an average and together with the earlier acquisition of 15 per cent, OVL’s share of daily oil production from Vankor will be about 110,000 bpd, the company has said.

Vankor, in Siberia, is Rosneft’s second largest field by output and accounts for 4 per cent of total Russian production.

–IANS

bc/sm/vt

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