ONGC Videsh Wins Syrian Block

ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of ONGC, has been awarded an exploration block in Syria. "OVL, in consortium with US-based exploration firm IPR, has been awarded one exploration block in Syria," OVL chairman Subir Raha said.

OVL, which has 60 percent stake in the consortium, may farm out 10 percent stake to Oil India Ltd at a latter stage. The remaining 40 percent stake is with the US company.

OVL managing director Atul Chandra said the deal for two exploration blocks in Libya was likely to be signed by month end. Libya has awarded the two exploration blocks, where one well has already been drilled, to OVL in consortium with National Oil Company of Turkey. The consortium (OVL - 49 percent; TBAO - 51 percent) would invest $35 million in exploration of the two blocks, he said.

OVL had previously taken 20 percent stake in gigantic Sakhlain offshore fields in Russia and Vietnam gas field, which has gone on production last month.

It is awaiting Sudan government decision on its proposal to buy Canadian Talisman Energy's 25 percent stake in Greater Nile oil project, which would immediately start giving 3 million tonnes of oil annually.

Raha said ONGC was talking to domestic refiners to access possibility of shipping Sudan Oil to India. "Sudan Oil is suited to Indian refineries and we would certainly like to bring (our share of oil to India) rather than sell abroad," he said.