Thursday, January 16, 2014

Petrotech 2014: How Indian oil PSUs wish to chase their dreams abroad

Petroleum minister Moily during Petrotech2014
DECADES ago, Indian oil major ONGC learnt its oil business from the former USSR. Now, it is helping Azerbaijan, a prolific oil producer, to do business. "It is a full cycle for skill development, as ONGC learnt the oil business from the former USSR, and now imparting the skills to Azerbaijan", said petroleum and natural gas minister M Veerappa Moily in the just-concluded four-day-long Petrotech 2014, where as many as 60 countries participated. The minister further said that the mega event provided a...
major thrust to secure oil assets and downstream projects abroad by Indian Oil PSUs, according to a statement issued at the end of the mega event on Wednesday. Regarding attracting FDI to Indian oil and gas sector, the minister said that the platform of Petrotech-2014 has been used to launch the NELP X. "We will hold road shows soon to offer the details of the blocks".
A major development was the signing of MoU between ONGC and Kuwait's PIC for cooperation in hydrocarbon value chain. The MoU will see bilateral cooperation among the two nations on the downstream hydrocarbon sector, especially petrochemicals, said the statement. Kuwait Petroleum Corp has shown interest in buying 26 percent stake in ONGC's Rs 21,396-crore petrochemical plant at Dahej, Gujarat, and also in its Rs 5,750-crore chemical plant at Mangalore. ONGC is keen to get an overseas major who can either bring in technology or marketing support for its Dahej plant that would be built by the year-end. ONGC holds 26 percent stake in ONGC Petro-additions Ltd, the special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed for setting up the chemical complex at the Dahej special economic zone (SEZ).
Veerappa Moily and his Mozambique counterpart Ms Esperanca Bias, Mozambique minister for mineral resources agreed to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries for accelerating the cooperation in hydrocarbon sector. The MoU will also pave the way for India to buy more LNG from the gas-rich African country. Mozambique plans to produce 34 million tonnes of LNG from the Rovuma Area 1 offshore block, where OVL, Oil India Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) hold 30 percent interest.
Dr Moily announced the technological cooperation opportunities thrown up in the Petrotech, especially in the domain of hydraulic fracturing ('Fracking') required for production of shale gas. The premier of Province of Alberta, Canada is expected to offer Indian companies like ONGC state-of-art fracking technologies, to develop the vast potential of shale in this country. This will pave the way for more Indian oil companies to increase their presence in the Canadian hydrocarbon sector. A term contract for Canadian crude is under finalisation by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).
On the sidelines of the mega event, Moily also held bilateral meetings with ministerial delegations of Ecuador, Uganda, Sudan, and Azerbaijan to open up possibilities for cooperation in areas like exploration, urea, petrochemicals and refineries. A joint Indo-Ugandan working team is under formation to look into opportunities for cooperation in the newly opened up Ugandan hydrocarbon sector. Similar opportunities are expected to be leveraged in Ecuador, especially in gas, petrochemicals and urea.
Sudan and South Sudan are coming to terms with the emerging opportunities in global cooperation and Indian companies are tapping the potential opportunities. Two blocks have been offered to India. ONGC Videsh Limited is already present in Sudan in a big way and the future may see the presence expanding its frontiers.

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