India Government Approves ONGC Bid to Buy Stake in Kazakh Oil Field

NEW DELHI - India's government has allowed state-run ONGC Videsh Ltd. to buy a minority stake from ConocoPhillips in an oil field in Kazakhstan for $5.5 billion, a senior ONGC executive said Monday.

The deal now need the Kazakh government's permission to go through.

ONGC Videsh had signed an agreement on buying an 8.4% stake in the Kashagan oil and gas field from ConocoPhillips in November last year.

Subsequently, it sought the Indian government's permission for the deal, which could be the biggest overseas acquisition by an Indian oil and gas company.

However, delays in approval from both governments had raised doubts on the deal.

Eurasia Group analysts said in a note last month that the Kazakh government will likely veto the sale in favor of a Chinese buyer as the country looks to strengthen its energy-sector relations with China.

If the deal falls through, it would be a major setback to India's plans to acquire hydrocarbon assets overseas to secure energy supplies. The country meets 75% of its energy needs through imports.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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