India’s ONGC eyeing Kazakh oil asset

India’s ONGC eyeing Kazakh oil asset


Almaty: Leading Indian explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has shown interest in buying a stake in MMG, a Kazakhstan-based oil production company, a Kazakh government source told Reuters on Wednesday.

Gazprom Neft, a unit of Gazprom, had earlier said it wanted to offer Kazakhstan a stake in one of its fields in Western Siberia in exchange for a 49% stake in MMG, also known as MangistauMunaiGas, but its offer has been rejected.

On Wednesday, the government source said ONGC had approached the Kazakh side over MMG, which has total oil reserves of 812 million tonnes and recoverable reserves of 194 million tonnes.

“ONGC has approached us with an offer to buy this asset," the source said on the sidelines of an annual oil and gas conference in Kazakhstan.

ONGC officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Kazakh oil company KazMunaiGas has received state approval to buy a controlling stake in MMG from Indonesia’s Central Asia Petroleum Ltd. It was yet to close the deal.

Speaking to Reuters separately at the conference, another senior Kazakh official said that the Kazakh side was in talks with certain foreign investors but could not name them.

“Negotiations are still continuing," Nurlan Balgimbayev, adviser to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, told Reuters.

On Tuesday, an industry source close to the negotiations said that KazMunaiGas had decided against forming a joint venture with Russia’s Gazprom Neft to run MMG and was talking to other potential partners.