Saturday, May 14, 2005

India Petroleum Update

ONGC looking at very lucrative buy

ONGC (via OVL) is trying to get buy a Canadian company, First Calgary Petroleum. FCP has 49% stake in two blocks in Algeria which have a combined potential of around 13 trillion cubic feet of gas and some 100 million barrels of oil. The oil assets are clearly very attractive, and ONGC has stiff competition in the form of Statoil, Total and Gaz de Franz. The bid has seen some interesting twists and turns thus far. Soon after news that ONGC had bid for FCP, came news that ONGC's bid had been rejected. But it so happenned that all international bids had been rejected, for being below the reserve price. OVL plans to bid more aggressively when re-bidding opens next month. First Calgary however denied the bid rejections. Let the waters settle down...

Domestic Exploration

Meanwhile the number of companies bidding for blocks under NELP-V has reached 30. Justifiably, oil minister Mani Shankar Aiyar is rejoicing.

The Kazakh Angle

Though India did not get any stake in the giant Kashagan or the Kurmangazy oil fields, Kazakhstan is offering India a stake in one of two medium size blocks. India continues to also lobby for some stake in two pipelines to take Kazakh oil to the Mediterranean and China respectively.

Domestic Policy

Here's another reason why I only invest in upstream majors among Indian companies. I am not complaining, because my petrol bill does not bloat with international trends. Still something has to give, and I wonder what that is...