New Delhi: State-run Gujarat State Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (GSPC) has short-listed eight foreign firms for the sale of 20 to 30% in its gas field off the country’s east coast, a senior company official said on 13 August.
The companies were BP Plc, BG Group , Chevron Corp. , Exxon Mobil, Spain’s Repsol YPF , France’s Total , Canada’s Husky Energy Inc. and Norway’s Statoil , the official, who did not wish to be identified, told Reuters.
He said GSPC would invite bids by mid-October from the shortlisted companies for the stake in the field in the prolific Krishna Godavari basin.
“We are in the process of preparing a joint venture agreement and, based on financial bid, a final decision to sell between 20 to 30% stake will be taken in November,” the official said.
GSPC holds 80% interest in the field, while Canada’s Geoglobal Resources Inc. and India’s Jubilant Enpro own the remainder. GSPC wants a partner with expertise in exploring a complex gas field and who is willing to share development costs.
The company recently informed the government that the block holds proven reserves of 1.38 trillion cubic feet (tcf) on the basis of discovery in one well, but expects it to hold much more.
It is the second time GSPC has prepared a shortlist for the stake. Last year, the source said, bidders were narrowed down to Chevron, BP, BG Group, and Italy’s ENI .
“The four shortlisted for final bid sought additional data. It takes around seven months to drill a well and in the meantime other firms also requested for participation, so we initiated the process afresh with more data,” he said.
A senior BP official said the company was evaluating the data. Officials at other companies could not be reached for comment.
Gas discoveries in the Krishna Godavari basin, where Reliance Industries Ltd. has found an estimated 35 tcf, have encouraged global oil majors to consider projects in India, where they have so far refrained from committing to large investments.
India produces about 95 million cubic metres of gas per day and imports liquefied natural gas to meet demand.