Tata Group’s business restructuring plan hits a ‘hydrocarbon’ hurdle
Tata Petrodyne Ltd, which has put up its six oil and gas blocks for sale, is yet to find interest from buyers
Mumbai: Tata Petrodyne Ltd, which has put up its six oil and gas blocks for sale, is yet to find interest from buyers, two people aware of the matter said.
As part of a group restructuring, Tata plans to exit the hydrocarbon sector. Tata Petrodyne has participating interest in four oil and gas blocks in India and one each in Indonesia and Tanzania.
According to the first of the two persons cited above, who said he was approached by Tata Petrodyne, the company hasn’t been able to generate interest in its blocks as it does not hold a majority stake in any of them.
“Besides, it has clubbed the blocks on sale. It may do better to offer them individually. This is deterring people from buying it,” this person said on condition of anonymity.
In January, Tata Sons Ltd, the holding company of Tata Group, hired EY to find a buyer for Tata Petrodyne, which has a net worth of Rs385 crore. The Group is pruning its portfolio and exiting businesses that are unprofitable or lack scale.
In an emailed response, a Tata Sons Ltd spokesperson said: “We do not comment on market speculation.”
The second person cited above, the exploration and production head of a private energy firm, pointed to another problem. “As per the law, one needs regulatory approvals before they can access the data room. Tata Petrodyne would have to seek the same for its Indonesian blocks to share data with the suitors. This could delay the sale process,” he said on condition of anonymity.
In India, Tata Petrodyne holds a 21-30% stake in four oil and gas blocks. Its partners in these fields are Hardy Exploration and Production (India) Inc.; Hindustan Oil Exploration Co. (HOEC) Ltd; Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC), and Cairn India Ltd.
The firm holds a few prospective blocks. Its PY-3 field is prolific, but is shut since July 2011 due to the expiry of facility contract and class certification owing to non-renewal of floating production unit contract by the government.
Tata Petrodyne’s website states the joint venture firms in PY-3, an offshore block in the Cauvery basin, had submitted a full field development plan with peak oil output of around 9,000 barrels of oil per day, and are striving to revive the field.
Outside India, it has subsidiaries in Amsterdam, and representative offices in Perth, Jakarta and Dar-es-Salaam, according to its website.
Tata Petrodyne was incorporated in 1993 with the objective of spearheading the group’s venture into the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry.
Though Tata Petrodyne was originally promoted by Tata Industries Ltd, when the group decided to consolidate all its energy businesses into a single corporate entity, Tata Power Co. Ltd took over Tata Petrodyne.
However, given the nature of the large investments required in the oil and gas business, group holding firm Tata Sons in March 2005 bought Tata Power’s 100% stake in Tata Petrodyne.
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