ONGC Videsh (OVL), which is set to celebrate its golden jubilee next week, is looking for acquisitions in Latin America and Africa, said Narendra K Verma, MD of the overseas arm of India’s flagship explorer ONGC.
The acquisition of prolific assets overseas that are in producing state or expected to commence shortly is utmost priority, as petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan looks to cut down India’s ballooning crude oil import bill and move towards energy security. India’s crude oil import bill has skyrocketed from $112.1 billion in FY11 to $155.7 billion in FY14.
Verma said the company is in discussion with several companies overseas. He did not divulge details citing confidentiality, but indicated that some announcement are expected soon.
OVL produced 8.36 million tonne of oil and oil equivalent gas in 2013-14 as against 0.252 million tonne a decade ago. Its cumulative investment up to March 31, 2014, has crossed $ 23.6 billion. In less than two years, OVL has made acquisitions to the tune of $4 billion including 2.72% in Azeri, Chirag and the deepwater portion of Guneshli Fields in Azerbaijan; 2.36% interest in Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline; additional 12% in Block BC-10 at Campos Basin in Brazil; 6% stake in Rovuma Area 1 offshore block in Mozambique from Videocon and direct 10% stake in the same Rovuma Area 1 from Anadarko. “OVL is poised to grow and energy security is our primary focus,” said Verma.
Energy security is the backbone of key government initiatives like affordable and reliable energy even for the poorest person, power for all by 2019 and Make in India push for the manufacturing sector. More energy resources thus are required to fulfil these objectives that will drive the needs of the growing economy and surging nation.
To meet this purpose, the first international energy summit, Urja Sangam 2015: Shaping India’s Energy Security, has been organised under the aegis of the ministry of petroleum on March 27 in New Delhi. The summit envisages bringing together all state-owned companies in the energy sector for better synergy and a unified energy vision. It aims to create long-term business opportunities by drawing a roadmap to firm-up the country’s energy security, integration of downstream, midstream and up-stream segments besides firming up cooperation agreements with key global players.