ONGC Videsh Eyes International Assets

ONGC Videsh Limited has decided to invest Rs 7,500 crore in oil exploration sector in the near future. The funds will be utilized to buy new assets and fields in other countries for oil exploration, Mr. R S. Butola, Managing Director, OVL said.

Addressing a press conference, he said: "The company will make a capital expenditure of around Rs 3,000 crore in various producing and other assets while Rs 600 crore in development of two newly-acquired fields in Sudan. The balance amount of nearly Rs 3,900 crore has been earmarked to buy 50 percent equity stake of Shell in Angola's producing field, which has the potential to produce 25 million tons of crude oil."

He claimed OVL had already invested Rs 9,690 crore in different assets, including major acquisitions in Sudan, which were giving a share of more than three million tons of crude oil every year. Mr Subir Raha, Chairman , OVL, said given its rapid growth in the past three years, the company is expected to achieve targets of sourcing 20 million tons of oil and oil equivalent gas per year by 2011-12 instead of 2020.

Mr. Butola disclosed that oil fields in Sakhalin-I, Russia and in Block 18 at Angola were under development. The OVL has already made discovery of oil reserves in Block A in Myanmar early this year, he said. "Exploration is in progress in Iran, Syria, Libya and Sudan. In the Farsi Block in Iran, OVL will be the operator as it holds hundred percent stake."

Regarding the financial results of the company he said, the OVL had earned net profit of Rs 428.53 crore in 03-04, up by 626 per cent over Rs 58.99 crore in the previous year. The gross revenue of the company had achieved Rs 3502.28 crore registering a growth of 1400 per cent over Rs 232.8 crore in 02-03. The OVL produced 3.9 million tons of oil and oil equivalent gas during 03-04 that was up 1435 per cent from 0.25 million tons in 02-03 he said.