India to invest $1 B in buying foreign oil equity

By SiliconIndia   |   Saturday, 22 May 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India will invest $1 billion every year in acquiring oil and gas fields abroad in order to cut dependence on highly volatile international market for its crude oil requirement, Petroleum Secretary B K Chaturvedi said on Friday.

The 70 per cent dependence on imports to meet domestic needs makes the country vulnerable to supply disruptions and adverse effects of extreme volatility, like the one being witnessed currently with oil prices soaring to $41 a barrel.

"We have already invested about $3 billion in taking stake in oil and gas fields in nine countries. Further $1 billion per annum will be invested till 2015 with a view to meet 15 per cent of the demand," he said at the CII lecture on 'Hydrocarbon Strategy - Volatility of Oil Markets - Road Ahead.'

ONGC Videsh Ltd has already taken equity in an oil field in Sudan, which is giving three million tonne of crude oil annually to India. Besides, a 20 per cent stake in Sakhalin field in Russia will give five million tonne from 2005 and an equal quantity would be received in exchange of 50 per cent in an Angola block, he said.

Besides, OVL has also picked stakes in oil fields in Syria, Libya, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Vietnam and Myanmar.

"Cost of crude oil production from these fields may be $6-7 a barrel against the prevailing international price of $41.5 a barrel. This will largely benefit us in cutting our dependence," he said.

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