ONGC, Reliance Industries in Talks to Develop Iraqi Oil Field

NEW DELHI, Dec 26, 2006 (Dow Jones Newswires)

India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (500312.BY) and Reliance Industries Ltd. (500325.BY) are in talks to jointly develop an oil field in Iraq, ONGC's chief executive said Tuesday.

The two companies have started preliminary discussions with the government in Iraq to develop the Tuba field in the southern part of the country, said the official, who declined to be named.

"We have already held preliminary discussions," said ONGC Chairman R.S. Sharma but declined to elaborate.

If the proposal goes through ONGC's investment arm ONGC Videsh will invest money in the yet to be developed field.

So far neither Reliance nor ONGC Videsh have any assets in Iraq although ONGC is presently exploring in neighboring Iran.

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