OVL trounces Sinopec in bid for Imperial

Written by Energy Bureau | New Delhi, Aug 26 | Updated: Aug 27 2008, 05:50am hrs
ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) has finally defeated the Chinese oil major Sinopec in its race for the UK-listed Imperial Energy. A cash offer of $2.58 billion (1.4 billion pounds) has been made by OVL for taking over Imperial Energy, which has oil producing blocks in Western Siberia in Russia and in North-Central Kazakhstan.

Imperial Energy confirms that it is in the course of finalising the terms of a possible recommended pre-conditional cash offer with OVL of 1,250 pence per Imperial share. A further announcement is expected later, Imperial Energy said in a statement.

OVL, through its wholly owned subsidiary Jarpeno Ltd, has made a 12.50 pounds per share takeover offer, Imperial Energy said in a statement. OVL, the overseas investment arm of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), had made a Xtakeover offer last month and earlier this month China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec) made a counter offer.

Imperial, a relatively small British oil and gas company based in Leeds in UK, has oil producing blocks in Tomsk region of western Siberia in Russia and Kastanai in north-central Kazakhstan. It produced about 10,000 barrels of oil per day in December 2007 and is targeting to raise this amount to 80,000 barrels per day (4 million tonne a year) by year-end 2011. The Russian ministry of natural resources said Imperials Russian registered reserves amount to about 450 million barrels of hydrocarbons. Independent assessment of the reserves by DeGolyer and McNaughton in December 2007 suggested in-place reserves of 920 million barrels of oil equivalent.