OVL Inks Deal for Libyan Deepwater Area

ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL) signed Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) with National Oil Corporation of Libya for Contract Area 43 on March 5, 2007 at Tripoli. The Contract Area 43 was awarded to OVL in the recently concluded 3rd Bid Round. The Contract Area consists of four blocks measuring total area of 7,449 sq km, and is located in Cyrenaica offshore in the Mediterranean Sea. The block boundaries extend from the coastline to the water depth of about 2,200 m.

For the Contract Area 43, OVL has work program of acquiring new seismic data minimum of 1000 km of 2D and 4000 sq. km. of 3D and drilling of one exploratory well during the exploration phase of five years. Presently, about two-third of the Contract Area has sparse coverage of 2D seismic data which was acquired earlier. There is also an exploration well drilled at the south west boundary in shallow water which had established presence of hydrocarbon.

The EPSA was signed by Dr G. N. Rao, Country Manager of OVL posted in Libya. Countersigning the agreement, Mr. Sukri Ghanem, NOC chairman, has expressed his desired to expand bilateral relationship with India and recalled his recent meeting with Mr. Murli Deora, the Honorable Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, on his recent visit to Libya. He has also indicated to visit the country sometime in 2007.

OVL made its first entry in Libya in June 2003, acquiring 49 per cent participating interest in block NC-188 (located in Ghadames basin) and NC-189 (Sirte basin) from Turkish Petroleum Overseas Company, and later won Block 81-1 (located in Ghadames Basin) with sole rights and operatorship in the 2nd Bid Round in 2005. The Branch office was opened by OVL in Tripoli in January 2006.