Videocon to Develop Oil Fields in Jordan

Videocon Industries Ltd., an Indian energy company is set to sign a preliminary agreement for developing four oil fields in Jordan as part of its plans to invest in oil assets overseas. While the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed in Jordan on Wednesday, the final terms and conditions of the agreement will be finalized at a later date.

Mr Venugopal Dhoot, Chairman, Videocon Industries Ltd, said, "Videocon is looking at increasing its presence in the Middle East and African countries in the oil business. We hope to make a mark in this market since we have both the expertise and the finances to invest in the sector."

Videocon has already signed an MoU with the government of Khartoum province in Sudan and expects to begin exploration work there soon. Additionally, Videocon has set its eyes on Nigeria. "Videocon has also applied for seven blocks in Nigeria last week," said Mr Dhoot. Nigeria has put 14 new oil blocks on offer as part of the 2005 licensing round. This is in addition to 61 other oil fields it presented for bids in March to boost its oil output capacity. Videocon is also exploring options to invest in Ukraine.

Energy deficient India, which now imports 70 per cent of its crude oil requirement, is aggressively looking for stakes in foreign oil and gas projects to secure energy supplies. "As a part of the long term strategy, we would look at bringing this oil back home," said Mr Dhoot.

Videocon owns 25 per cent of the Raava oil field in the Krishna-Godavari basin off India's eastern shore and has bid for three blocks offered by the Indian government, Mr Dhoot said. Videocon is also hopeful about its bids for blocks in Assam and Maharashtra.