Bharat Petro, Videocon eye stake in Mozambique block: sources

Bharat Petro, Videocon eye stake in Mozambique block: sources
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First Published: Mon, Jun 23 2008. 05 35 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Jun 23 2008. 05 35 PM IST
New Delhi: Bharat Petroleum Corp and Videocon Industries Ltd are close to buying a 20% stake in Mozambique’s Rovuma Offshore Area 1 block from US firm Anadarko Petroleum Corp., sources at the two Indian firms said.
Indian and Chinese firms have been aggressive in recent years in bidding for global exploration and production assets, as the Asian rivals look to secure energy supplies to satisfy their fast-growing economies.
Indian oil firms have been intensifying their efforts to boost oil production abroad to make up for stagnating domestic output.
“We have negotiated and it is agreed now,” said an official at one of the companies. The proposed deal was confirmed by another source at the second Indian firm.
Currently, Anadarko owns 56.5% of the asset, while Canada’s Artumas Group Inc has 8.5%, Japan’s Mitsui & Co Ltd 20% and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos de Mozambique 15%.
A spokesman for Videocon declined to comment, while a spokesman for BPCL could not comment immediately.
“The acquisition will help the two firms in the long run and strengthen their oil and gas portifolio. This will help them in securing supplies,” said Rohit Nagraj, a senior research analyst at Angel Broking in Mumbai.
State-run BPCL, India’s second-biggest refiner, said earlier this month it would spend up to $200 million in the current financial year to March, targeting small stakes in overseas oil and gas assets.
Videocon, a diversified group whose businesses range from power to home appliances, and Bharat PetroResources Ltd, the exploration unit of BPCL, are equal partners in a consortium that will buy the holding in the offshore exploration block.
Last year, the two firms together bought EnCana Corp.’s stakes in 10 Brazilian deepwater offshore exploration blocks in four concessions. They are also partners in a block in a joint development area between East Timor and Australia, and a separate asset in Oman.
BPCL has stakes in 24 oil and gas blocks in India and abroad.
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First Published: Mon, Jun 23 2008. 05 35 PM IST