ONGC Videsh wins 3 blocks in Colombia

ONGC Videsh wins 3 blocks in Colombia

New Delhi: ONGC Videsh Ltd, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) has been declared winner in three offshore exploration blocks in Colombia — two blocks in collaboration with Ecopetrol (the National Oil Company of Colombia) and one in collaboration with Ecopetrol and Petrobras in a bidding called the ‘Caribbean Round 2007’.

Colombia’s Agency National of Hydrocarbons had offered a total of 13 exploratory blocks — two in shallow offshore, four in deep water and seven in transition areas.

The announcement was made in Bogota on 18 September 2007 in the presence of Minister of Mines Government of Colombia, senior authorities of Colombian energy sector and representatives of various companies.

A total of 11 companies qualified the pre-qualification bid round and 5 companies were declared winners. Some of the international companies that were declared winners are British Petroleum and Amerada Hess Corp besides ONGC Videsh and Petrobras.

ONGC Videsh and Ecopetrol will hold participating interest of 50% each in both, Block RC–9 and RC–10. This is OVL’s first tie up with Ecopetrol in deepwater in Colombia. In block RC-8, OVL’s participation will be 40% with Ecopetrol holding 40% and Petrobras, National Oil Company of Brazil holding another 20% participating interest. OVL shall be the operator in Blocks RC-8 and RC-10.

In a release issued by ONGC, chairman R.S.Sharma said, “Participation in these 3 new blocks in partnership with Ecopetrol and Petrobras is part of our strategy to expand our investment in prospective E&P assets in Latin America".

R.S.Butola, managing director, OVL added that the award of the blocks fits into OVL’s strategy of developing a balanced portfolio with an appropriate mix of producing, discovered and exploration assets.

In September 2006, OVL had acquired 50% Shares of Omimex de Colombia Ltd from Texas based Omimex Resources, Inc. along with Chinese firm Sinopec as remaining 50% Shareholder. The venture jointly operated by OVL and Sinopec is currrently producing over 22,000 barrels per day with a significant potencial to further enhance the production.