ONGC offer for BP Vietnam stake soon

Written by fe Bureaus | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 29 2010, 04:26am hrs
State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and PetroVietnam would submit a formal joint offer to buy British Petroleum's stake in an offshore Vietnamese gas field in few weeks , petroleum secretary S Sundareshan has said.

ONGC has 45% share in block 6.1 in the Nam Con Son basin, off Vietnams southeast coast, which is operated by BP with a 35% stake. The rest is owned by PetroVietnam.

We met with the prime minister of Vietnam and we had said that we will work with PetroVietnam (to buy BP's stake). We are discussing it with BP; Petrovietnam is also discussing it, Sundareshan told reporters.

The secretary said that a formal offer was likely in a few weeks. Vietnam wants BP to give priority to its partners in the project.

State-owned exploration company Oil India Ltd too is keen to have a share in BP's assets on the block.

Oil India CMD N M Borah said the company was keen to partner with a consortium led by ONGC. Borah said that ONGC and PetroVietnam have the first right of refusal on the block.

Public sector companies ONGC, IOC, Oil India Ltd and Gail India would be interested in the assets that are up for sale, which also include a power plant and a gas pipeline. The 271-km pipeline transports gas from the fields to a power plant that uses it to produce electricity.

India currently has no stake in the pipeline or the power plant. OVL had sold its stake in the Lan Tay field in block 06.1 in Vietnam to BP after winning the exploration licence for the area in 1988.

Sundareshan said India is interested in taking over BP's stake in all the segments of the Nam Con Son project the gas fields, pipeline and the power plant.

BP intends to sell all its assets in Vietnam and Pakistan, except for its lubricant business, in its drive to raise $ 10 billion to help pay for the Gulf oil spill.