OVL Shortlisted to Qualify as Operator for Deepwater Blocks in Angola

ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), a flagship subsidiary of ONGC has been shortlisted to qualify as an operator for the deepwater blocks by the Angolan Authorities. This was informed at a meeting between Shri Murli Deora, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Desiderio da Graca Verissimo e Costa, Minister of Petroleum of Angola, on the sidelines of 19th World Petroleum Congress in Madrid, Spain. Shri Deora proposed that ONGC Videsh Ltd, a flagship subsidiary of ONGC for overseas ventures and Angola's national oil company Sonongal should form a joint venture to participate in the next round of offers on exploration blocks in Angola.

Echoing Deora's sentiments, Desiderio Costa said that Angola is open to consider such a proposal. Shri Murli Deora would write to his counterpart while MD OVL would send a formal proposal to the CEO of Sonongal for taking forward the matter. OVL is the only company from India to cross the mark of prequalification of E&P companies which will entitle it to bid for deepwater exploration blocks in Angola as an operator.

Costa informed that Angola is planning to offer more than 10 offshore exploration blocks, including deepwater blocks for bidding by E&P companies. The bids are likely to be invited after elections later this year.

In addition to the cooperation in the oil and gas sector, Shri Murli Deora offered Indian assistance to Angola in the training and skill development of Angolan personnel. Shri Deora also extended an invitation to the Energy Minister of Angola to visit India.

The Indian Petroleum Minister also had a bilateral meeting with his counterpart from the Netherlands, Maria van der Hoeven, Minister of Energy and Economic Affairs. Both of the Ministers agreed that India and the Netherlands should forge closer relations for cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector including in Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) etc. and build upon the long standing friendly relations between two countries.

Shri Deora was accompanied during the talks by the Indian Ambassador to Spain Sujata Mehta, ONGC CMD Shri R S Sharma and MD OVL Shri R S Butola.