ONGC Videsh Sells Stake in Hell Hole Bayou to Oil India

ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of ONGC has sold its 10 percent stake in the North Hell Hole Bayou Prospect in Louisiana to Oil India Ltd or "OIL".

"OVL has sold its hundred percent holding in Sakhalin India Inc (SII), a Corporation incorporated in the State of Texas, USA to OIL.

Sources said OVL divested its stake in the exploration block fearing court cases in the US for investing in strife-torn Sudan. The company could have faced a class action suit on the grounds that it was helping to prop up a dictatorial regime in Sudan that has been accused of human rights abuse.

OVL has bought Canadian Talisman Energy's 25 percent stake in a producing oil field in Sudan.

Any company having commercial presence in US can face a class action suit if it invests in a country whose regime has been classified as dictatorial with terrorist links. A class action suit would hamper OVL's operations in Sudan, they said, adding OIL will escape any legal suit as it is not investing in any of the countries viewed by US as "hostile".