New Delhi: Ruias-led corporate house Essar group has won an offshore oil block in Nigeria with reserves of up to 80 million barrels.
Essar Energy Holdings Ltd, a unit of Essar Global, has bagged a shallow water offshore exploration Block 226 in the African country, industry sources said.
Nigeria had offered 45 exploration blocks in its latest licensing round, to which no Indian company except Essar had responded.
Of the total 45 blocks, 11 were in deep water offshore, 10 shallow water on the continental shelf, 13 onshore in the Niger Delta and 11 in inland basins.
When contacted, an Essar official said: “We have submitted a bid and are awaiting an outcome.”
ONGC-Mittal Energy Ltd, the joint venture of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp and NRI steel tycoon L N Mittal, had preferential bidding rights over one block, but chose to stay away over doubts about the block’s prospects.
Indian Oil Corp-Oil India Ltd combine, which earlier planned to submit a bid, also stayed away, the sources said, adding a total of 16 companies bid in the round.
The last date for submitting the bid was May 2.
ONGC-Mittal had won preferential rights after promising to invest $2 billion in the country’s infrastructure.
OMEL was given right of first refusal on Block 250 in return for a pledge to carry out a feasibility study into a new railroad, the sources said.