ONGC Videsh Gets Okay form CCEA to Acquire Angolan Stake

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday cleared a proposal of ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of ONGC, to acquire Shell's 50 percent stake in an oil field in Angola for 700-1100 million dollars.

"The CCEA approved OVL buying out Shell Development Angola's (a subsidiary of Royal Dutch/Shell) stake in the British oil major BP-operated 200,000 barrels per day Greater Plutonio project (also known as Block 18) off Angola," sources said here. Both Shell and BP hold 50 percent stake each in the block which plays host to six fields - Plutonio, Cobalto, Paladio, Cromio, Galio and Platina. Block 18 is estimated to hold between 750 million and 1 billion barrels of oil.

In addition, two recent exploration wells - Cesio and Chumbo - are estimated to hold 60 million barrels of oil.

The sources said Shell has opened data rooms in Houston and Rijswijk in the Netherlands for companies interested in picking up its stake in Angola . Besides OVL, Petronas of Malaysia too is reported to be interested in the oil field.

Shell has called for price bids by January 16, 2004 from interested companies. First oil from Block 18 is targeted for 2007.