MUMBAI (Dow Jones Newswires), November 7, 2008
Two consortia of Indian companies led by state-run Gujarat State Petroleum Corp. have been awarded three offshore oil exploration blocks in Egypt, a senior GSPC executive said Friday.
"We have committed to spend at least $85 million in the three blocks over the next four years. But that's a conservative estimate. We may end up spending more," said M.Y. Farooqi a general manager for planning and development at GSPC.
One consortium, comprising GSPC, Hindustan Petroleum Corp. and Oil India Ltd., won two blocks. The second consortium - comprising GSPC and Adani Welspun Exploration Ltd. - won another block, he said.
GSPC will be the operator of all three blocks. The rights to the blocks were awarded by Egypt's Ganoub el Wadi Holding Petroleum Co., Faruqi said.
HPCL and Oil India each own a 25% stake in the two blocks - in Block 3 South Quseir and Block 4 South Sinai - while GSPC owns the rest.
In Block 5 South Gulf of Suez, GSPC owns a 60% stake while Adani Welspun Exploration Ltd. owns the rest.
Ganope had launched its 2008 licensing round in March 2008, offering 12 exploration blocks to both Egyptian and international companies. The blocks offered are in Red Sea, the South Gulf of Suez and the eastern and western deserts of Egypt.
GSPC was earlier awarded the North Hap'y offshore block in the Mediterranean Sea and an onshore South Diyur block in the Western Desert in Egypt. The company had committed to put in $200 million for exploration activity in these two blocks.
HPCL has interest in 19 blocks in India, and in Oman and Australia as part of a consortium.
The Egyptian government had announced its intent to implement an oil and gas exploration and development program in 2008-09 involving a total foreign investment of $7 billion.
Copyright (c) 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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