New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) A consortium of Indian oil companies led by state-run overseas exporer ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) is considering the purchase of a part of the $11 billion stake that Russia is selling in Rosneft, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Thursday.
“Our companies are looking into the offer. They are mulling if they can take some of that equity. They are looking into it,” Pradhan, who visited Russia last week, told reporters here on the sidelines of the launch of a pilot programme to run two wheelers on compressed natural gas (CNG).
“OVL is the company heading the discussions now. Others may join later,” he said.
Russia plans to sell 19.5 per cent stake in Rosneft as part of a wider privatisation plan for 2016.
Last month, Rosneft completed the sale of 15 per cent stake in its Vankor oilfield OVL for $1.268 billion.
It has also signed an agreement to sell another 23.9 per cent in Vankor to a consortium of Oil India, Indian Oil and Bharat Petroleum for another $2 billion.
Rosneft has also signed preliminary agreement to sell another 11 per cent stake in Vankor to OVL.
“When all these transactions close, Indian companies will have nearly 50 per cent stake in Vankor,” Pradhan said.
He also said India plans to invest in the Yamal mega project of Russian natural gas major Gazprom.
“I have just come back from Russia. We are planning to invest in the Yamal project and see whether we can get equity natural gas,” the minister said.
Pradhan further said India is also talking to Russia for building a gas pipeline through Central Asia.
He said India will raise this issue with the Russian leadership during Prime Mnister Narendra Modi’s ongoing visit to Tashekent where he is attending a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
“The day is not far when a pipeline from Russia will reach India. It will be a very significant step for our energy security,” Pradhan said.