Minister: Russia Offers Stake in 10 Exploration Blocks to India's ONGC
NEW DELHI, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Russia's Rosneft, the world's largest listed oil company by output, has offered stakes in 10 exploration blocks to the foreign investment arm of India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp, the south Asian nation's junior oil minister said.
India, the world's fourth-largest oil importer which meets about 80 percent of its crude needs through overseas purchases, is scouting for oil and gas assets abroad to meet rising local demand and to feed its expanding refining capacity.
Rosneft has offered 9 offshore blocks in Barents Sea Offshore and one in Black Sea for joint exploration to ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), Panabaka Lakshmi told lawmakers in a written reply on Friday.
"At present, OVL is studying the preliminary data provided by Rosneft for identifying the preferred blocks for participation with Rosneft," she said.
In response to a separate question, Lakshmi said OVL is in the process of acquiring data on oil and gas blocks offered in the latest exploration licensing round in Tanzania, a hotspot for natural gas exploration.
Gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd is also scouting for business opportunities in Tanzania, she said.
(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; editing by Malini Menon)
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