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India to acquire two oilfields in Sudan, Oman
Indo-Asian News Service

New Delhi, Feb 28 (IANS) India's state-owned oil exploration major Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is set to make its first acquisition of oil-producing fields overseas in Oman and Sudan, a leading financial daily said Thursday.

The company's overseas arm, ONGC Videsh, has been given the go-ahead to purchase two oil-producing fields in Oman and Sudan for Rs.32 billion, reported the Economic Times.

"ONGC Videsh is all set to acquire two oil-producing fields in Sudan and Oman for Rs.32 billion. The empowered committee of secretaries cleared ONGC's acquisition plans on Monday," the paper reported.

The two oilfields produce half a million tonnes of crude, which can go up to one million tonnes with further development of the field, the report states quoting unidentified sources.

A Canadian consortium led by CNPC is operating the oilfield in Sudan, while Japan's Japex is operating the Oman field.

With the U.S. having identified Sudan as one of the states sponsoring terrorism, the Canadian consortium is keen to withdraw from the project, the paper reported.

Depending on imports for over 70 percent of the domestic crude demand, India has been activity scouting for equity stake in potentially rich oil and gas fields overseas.

It has so far been successful in getting equity stake in a number of countries including Vietnam and Russia.

ONGC will be funding the acquisitions from internal accruals, the Economic Times states.

At present, ONGC has cash reserves of nearly Rs.80 billion.

Indo-Asian News Service

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