The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sudan oil set to start flowing

New Delhi, May 7: The arrival of the first ONGC-owned overseas crude consignment on May 15 is poised to be a major political event. Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani and petroleum minister Ram Naik will be flying to Mangalore to welcome the ship which has already set sail from Sudan.

The BJP-led government wants to gain as much political mileage as it can out of this “economically historic event” which comes in the run-up to the assembly polls in four states.

The party has also started preparing the ground for the next parliamentary elections. The enhanced oil security is expected to be projected as an important achievement of the government.

Ram Naik has invited the 40-odd MPs of the petroleum ministry’s consultative committee as well for the gala event at Mangalore when the ship arrives with 600,000 barrels of ONGC-Videsh’s oil.

The crude oil from the Greater Nile project in Sudan is part of ONGC-Videsh's share of the profit and will be processed at the Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL).

The Indian upstream oil major has a 25 per cent share in the project which it picked up for $ 750 million from a Canadian company. However, it eventually paid a net amount of $ 670 million since the deal came into force with retrospective effect and the earnings from the oil sales were credited to the ONGC account.

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