ONGC Videsh to Acquire 50% Stake in Block 18 Offshore Angola

An agreement has been reached between OVL and Shell Development Angola B.V. (Shell) for OVL's acquisition of Shell's entire 50 percent interest in the deepwater offshore Block 18 in Angola, including the Greater Plutonio development.

The transaction is intended to be completed later this year, subject to approvals from Angola government and Sonangol, and pre-emption rights of BP and Sonangol. The consideration for the transaction will be around $ 600 million, assuming completion in middle of 2004.

The Greater Plutonio project, involving development of six fields in water-depths ranging between 1,200 to 1,500 meters, will be the first development in Angola's Block 18. The project is operated by BP, and will consist of a single spread-moored floating, production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel linked by risers to a network of sub-sea flow-lines, manifolds and wells.

BP recently received authorization from Sonangol to proceed with the awarding of major contracts. First production is targeted for 2007. The expected peak production is more than 2,00,000 barrels of oil per day (BOPD).