A high-powered industry delegation, comprising top honchos of Reliance Industries, Cairn India, Adani Gas, GEECL and Videocon Industries along with those of state-run companies like ONGC Videsh and IOC, would accompany petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan on his maiden visit to Mexico starting Monday. Mexico has decided to offer hydrocarbon assets to foreign companies for exploring oil and gas.
Pradhan, accompanied by the delegation, will also visit Colombia.
He is likely to be accompanied by joint secretary at his ministry, Ashutosh Jindal, IOC chairman B Ashok, OVL managing director NK Verma, Cairn India MD & CEO Mayank Ashar, Adani Gas CEO for gas business Rajeev Sharma, RIL president Atul Laul and GEECL president & CEO Prashant Modi, among others.
Colombian gas major and the fourth largest oil and gas company in the region, Ecopetrol, which exports around 24 million barrels of crude to Essar Oil worth nearly $2 billion, is looking to increase its volumes significantly. The company has been associated with Essar for over a year-and-a-half.
Not only Essar Oil, but other Indian majors in the oil and gas sector are also looking at Colombia, Ecquador and Venezuela, among others, to meet India’s growing energy demands. OVL, which has stake in Colombian blocks, has been asked by the government to look for more joint ventures. Similarly, in Equador, OVL is in active talks for partnership in oil and gas exploration.
According to the Indian ambassador in Colombia, Prabhat Kumar, “As much as 95% of Colombia’s total exports are in oil and mineral derivatives.” ONGC Videsh has exploration and production operations in Colombia. Its joint venture with Chinese company SINOPEC called Mansarovar Energy owns a producing asset, which produces around 38,000 barrels per day. RIL has signed an agreement with Ecopetrol to be the operator for two oil blocks in the offshore Pacific area with a joint surface of 8,000 sq km at the depth of 60-1,000 metres. RIL will hold 80% stake and Ecopetrol 20%.
Bloomberg quoted Mexico’s energy minister Joaquin Coldwell as saying that the fields hold an estimated 20.6 billion barrels, enough to maintain production levels of at least 2.5 million barrels a day for the next 20 years.