A consortium of state-owned firms - ONGC, IOC and OIL - is among the three groups shortlisted by US energy giant ConocoPhillips for a possible sale of stake in its six Canadian oil sands assets.
ONGC Videsh Ltd, overseas arm of ONGC, along with IOC and OIL had some weeks back placed a USD 5 billion bid for buying stake in six Alberta oil sands assets of ConocoPhillips.
"We are one of the three shortlisted," said a source.
Houston-based ConocoPhillips is selling as much as 50 per cent of its oil-sand reserves in Alberta.
"There are some producing assets and some exploration assets on offer," the source said without giving more details.
OVL had last month bought US energy firm Hess Corp's stake in Azeri, Chirag and Guneshli (AGC) group of oil fields in Azerbaijan for USD 1 billion.
ConocoPhillips has hired Scotia Waterous for selling stake in six Alberta properties that produce about 25,000 barrels of oil a day from an estimated 30 billion barrels of bitumen, used for road surfacing and roofing, in place. Development of these reserves could increase production to more than 500,000 bpd.
ONGC Videsh Ltd Managing Director D K Sarraf said the company keeps looking at opportunities globally and would not comment on any specific transaction.
He however indicated that North America was one of the areas that OVL may be looking at. "Wherever there is an opportunity, we certainly look at them."
ConocoPhillips has been looking to sell assets in a number of countries, including Nigeria, as part of a global restructuring. Of its six properties on offer in Canada, only Surmont, run in a joint venture with France's Total SA, is producing oil.
Located south of the oil sands hub of Fort McMurray, Alberta, the steam-driven development pumps about 25,000 barrels a day.
The partners are working to boost that to 136,000 bpd, starting in 2015.
The other properties are the Thornbury, Clyden, Saleski, Crow Lake and McMillan Lake assets. The land totals 715,000 acres.
ConocoPhillips had in 2010 sold its interest in the Syncrude Canada oil sands mining venture