Govt clears ONGC's $200-M project in Sudan

Friday, 25 June 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The Indian government Thursday approved a proposal by the public sector Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to invest $200 million in a petroleum pipeline project in Sudan.

ONGC Videsh Ltd., a fully owned subsidiary of ONGC, will undertake its first engineering and construction project in Sudan, said Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar.

The project envisages the laying of a pipeline from Khartoum Refinery to Port of Sudan, covering a distance of 74 km, Aiyar told reporters after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here.

The project's cost will be around $200 million with normal credit guarantees from ONGC Videsh Ltd.

The pipeline will evacuate petroleum products from Khartoum Refinery, the capacity of which is being upgraded by the Sudanese government.

The project is to be completed in 16 months from the date of signing of the pipeline contract agreement with the Sudanese government, matching the completion schedule of the Khartoum Refinery up-gradation project.

ONGC Videsh currently has an equity stake in exploration and production projects in Sudan.

These projects are the Greater Nile Oil Project, promising 3.3 million metric tonnes per annum of crude oil, and 5A and 5B blocks, having a potential of up to 3-3.5 million metric tonnes per annum of crude oil.

With the pipeline project, the overall investment of ONGC Videsh in Sudan will be of the order of $800 million in the current fiscal ending March 31, 2005.

ONGC posted a 17.7 percent drop in net profit for 2003-04 because of heavy outgo towards subsidies on kerosene and liquefied petroleum gas.

The company's net profit for the fiscal ended March 31, 2004, stood at 86.64 billion ($1.93 billion), compared with 105.30 billion ($2.34 billion) for the previous year.

Source: IANS
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