ONGC-promoted OVL in talks to buy stake in Russia’s Vostok, Arctic LNG-2 project

One of India’s top energy companies, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) is mulling over buying a stake in Russia’s massive Vostok oil project. OVL is also planning to set up a liquefied gas project Arctic LNG-2, Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.

OVL, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), is evaluating buying a minority stake in the Vostok Oil project, which contains combined estimated resources of over 6 billion tonnes or around 44 billion barrels, of premium crude.

Along with Petronet LNG Ltd, the company is negotiating to buy a 9.9 per cent stake from Novatek. “A number of new potential investments were discussed in Vostok Oil, Artic LNG-2 (and) petrochemicals,” said Puri, who was in Russia to attend the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.

Posting a short clip of the press interaction on his Twitter account, he said these investments will lead to further strengthening and deepening of relations between Russia and India.

He said the business delegation he led had a large number of meeting with all the major economic & energy sector players. Russian Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov said almost all major companies—including Rosneft, Gazprom Neft, and Novatek—were interested in developing new projects with Indian oil and gas companies. “We see prospects for energy cooperation in all areas,” Shulginov said at the Russian-Indian business dialogue.

According to Puri, Indian oil companies have already invested about USD 16 billion in the Russian oil and gas sector including in projects such as Sakhalin-1, Vankor and Taas-Yuryakh, and Russia invested the same amount in India.

During his 5-day visit, the minister also met with Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin who made a presentation on the Vostok Oil megaproject, which links some of Rosneft’s vast resources with the Northern Sea Route. He also met Novatek Chief Executive Officer Leonid Mikhelson during the visit. The Vostok Oil in the far northern Taymyr Peninsula is one of the most prospective oil production projects in the world. It includes 52 license areas with a resource base of more than 6 billion tons of oil.

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