ONGC to finalize BP Vietnam asset valuation in few weeks

ONGC to finalize BP Vietnam asset valuation in few weeks

Mumbai: State-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp will make a joint bid with Petrovietnam for BP’s Vietnam assets after completing its evaluation of them in the next few weeks, oil secretary S Sundareshan told reporters on Saturday.

“They (ONGC) are making an evaluation of the value of BP’s assets, and once that is finalised they will make an offer in conjunction with Petrovietnam," Sundareshan said.

ONGC has a 45% share in Block 6.1 in the Nam Con Son basin, off Vietnam’s southeast coast, operated by BP, which has a 35% stake. The remaining 20% is owned by state-run Petrovietnam.

Sundareshan said the valuation process is likely to be completed in a few weeks.

The stake would be a welcome acquisition for India, which has been lagging China in the hunt for natural resources as both countries seek to feed their fast economic growth.

UBS analysts have said BP’s stake, which includes an interest in the Lan Tay and Lan Do gas fields, the Nam Con Son pipeline and the Phu My power generation project, is worth $966 million.

No decision on Cairn-Vedanta deal

Sundareshan also said the government had yet to decide on whether to allow Vedanta Resources to buy a majority stake in the Indian unit of Cairn Energy.

Last month, India-focused miner Vedanta said it had agreed to spend up to $9.6 billion to buy a majority stake in Cairn India from UK-based Cairn Energy.

The deal needs Indian government approval because Cairn India has production-sharing contracts with the government for oil and gas exploration blocks.

According to the agreement, any ownership change will need government’s approval.

“We have written to them saying they should seek these approvals and so far there has been no response. As soon as the requests come...they will be examined on merit and a decision will be taken," Sundareshan said on Saturday.

He also said India was planning a policy by which gas in the country would be uniformly priced.

“Maybe in the course of the next year we would move to a situation where there could be a pool pricing of gas irrespective of the source, international or domestic, and gas could be uniformly priced."

A policy to provide fuel at a similar price across the country could firm up in the next 8-9 months, he added.