Monday, 30th October 2017

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Fresh OVL stake drill in Namibia

ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) is acquiring a 15 per cent stake in a Namibian offshore oil block.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 22.11.17

New Delhi: ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) is acquiring a 15 per cent stake in a Namibian offshore oil block.

This is the second acquisition of OVL in the African nation. However, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation did not disclose the deal value.

OVL picked up the 15 per cent participating interest in Namibia Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) 30, covering Block 2012A, from Tullow Oil of the UK.

According to a company statement, OVL, through its wholly owned indirect subsidiary ONGC Videsh Vankorneft Pte. Ltd (OVVL), has signed definitive binding agreements with Tullow Namibia Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tullow Oil Plc, to buy the 15 per cent interest.

At present, Tullow has a 25 per cent participating interest in the block. This apart, Eco Oil and Gas Namibia (Pty) Ltd has a 32.5 per cent stake, Azimuth Namibia Ltd has another 32.5 per cent while National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Pty) Ltd holds the remaining 10 per cent stake.

"The licence is currently under First Renewal Exploration Period and the joint venture partners are carrying out data evaluation for identifying a drill prospect," the OVL statement said.

Earlier in July, OVL had bought a 30 per cent interest in another oil block (PEL 37) off the Namibian coast, also from Tullow Oil.

The latest acquisition, OVL said, is subject to approvals from regulatory bodies and joint venture partners as well as the grant of a 12-month extension to the First Renewal Exploration Period by the Namibian regulatory authority.

OVL said the fresh acquisition would strengthen its partnership with Tullow and its other partners and would mark the consolidation of interest in Namibian offshore.

"The acquisition is consistent with OVL's strategic objective of adding high quality exploration and production assets to its existing exploration and production portfolio," the statement added.

OVL is India's largest international oil and gas exploration and production company. It has 38 projects in 17 countries. At present, it produces about 285,000 barrels of oil and oil equivalent gas per day.

OVL recorded a profit of Rs 134 crore during the first half of 2017-2018 against a profit of Rs 491 crore during the same period last year. The lower profit was because of forex rate changes and provisionings.