ONGC to Announce Hydrocarbon Find Shortly

NEW DELHI Jan 04, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (500312.BY) will announce a new hydrocarbon discovery off India's eastern coast in the next two weeks, Chairman and Managing Director R.S. Sharma said Wednesday.

Local media had earlier reported that India's largest oil and gas exploration and production company had struck gas off the country's eastern state of Orissa and southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

The two finds are expected to yield reserves of 25 trillion cubic meters of gas each day.

"We are hoping to make an exciting announcement in due course...it may take another two weeks," Sharma told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event.

Sharma declined to give details, saying the country's upstream regulator was currently engaged in assessing the discovery.

Earlier Wednesday, India's Petroleum Secretary M.S. Srinivasan said ONGC will make an announcement on its latest gas discovery in the next 45 days after meeting all regulatory conditions.

Separately, Shell group and France's Total S.A. (TOT) have offered to buy a stake in ONGC's two exploration blocks in Nigeria, a senior company executive said.

ONGC will engage in serious discussions with the two energy companies on selling a stake only after it signs production sharing contracts with Nigeria for the two blocks, expected early next month, the executive said.

Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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