ONGC Videsh to Close Sudan Acquisition This Week

ONGC Videsh Ltd. is expected to close the deal to buy Talisman Energy's assets in Sudan for $750 million this week according to the Chairman and Managing Director Subir Raha. "We are hopeful the deal with Talisman will go through smoothly. I am convinced it is an excellent commercial deal for us," he said in a statement. The acquisition will see ONGC taking over Talisman's 25% stake in the Greater Nile oil project in Sudan.

ONGC Videsh is the international exploration arm of ONGC and has already acquired upstream equity in Iraq, Russia and Vietnam to supplement domestically-produced oil and gas. The Sudan field will be the only foreign asset in commercial production.

ONGC produced about 24.6 million metric tons of crude in the 2001-02 fiscal year that ended March 31. Acquiring Talisman's stake adds around 3 million metric tons/year. This will cut India's dependence on imported crude which accounts for nearly 70% of its overall needs.

The Greater Nile development is a 225,000-barrel-a-day oil joint venture in southern Sudan with estimated recoverable reserves of between 660 million and 1.2 billion barrels. CNPC holds a 40% share, Petronas, holds a 30% stake, and Sudan's Sudapet the remaining 5%.


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