|ONGC CMD Sudhir Vasudeva
THE year 2013 has been a watershed year for the oil major ONGC's overseas arm ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL). Driven by massive buyouts overseas, the company last year witnessed a sharp 46.3 percent rise in plan expenditure. The revised estimate of plan expenditure of OVL during 2013-14 was Rs 36,117 crore. In the entire history of the PSU since its inception in 1965 till 2012-13, OVL's total plan expenditure was Rs 77,999 crore. Get your math right...The PSU spent almost half the amount in a single year that it had earlier spent in its entire history. No doubt, the year 2013 turned out to be a major watershed in so far as the overseas acquisitions are concerned, and a major chunk of its expenditure was allocated on global acquisition drive.
To strengthen the country’s energy security, by aggressively pursuing equity oil and gas opportunities overseas, today, Indian oil companies are new present in 25 countries. As part of these efforts, OVL acquired 2.72 percent stake in ACG field and 2.36 percent stake in BTC Pipeline in Azerbaijan during March 2013 at a consideration of about $1 billion. ACG field is one of the biggest producing offshore fields globally. OVL also acquired 12 percent additional stake in Block BC-10, Brazil in December 2013 at a consideration of $561 million.
Further, OVL along with Oil India Limited (OIL) acquired 10 percent stake in Area-1, Mozambique at a consideration of $2.48 billion.
Further, OVL finalized agreement to acquire 10 percent stake in the same Area-1, Mozambique from a US listed company at a consideration of $2.64 billion. Area-1, Mozambique is one of the biggest gas finds of the recent times with estimated reserves (2C) of 45 trillion cubic feet. OVL also acquired two exploration blocks each in Colombia, Myanmar (B2 and EP-3) and Bangladesh (SS-04 and SS-09) during 2012-13.Another gas company under the petroleum ministry, GAIL signed a Terminal Service Agreement (TSA) with Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP in April 2013 for booking 2.3 MMTPA liquefaction capacity in the Cove Point LNG liquefaction terminal project located at Lusby in Maryland, US. The US department of energy (DOE) recently approved Dominion Cove Point LNG LP’s application to export LNG from its terminal to countries that do not have a free-trade agreement with the US. This is in addition to the off take agreement signed by GAIL with Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC for supply of 3.5 MMTPA LNG from Sabine Pass Terminal in December 2011. This is the first LNG project in USA with Non-FTA authorization.