Oil-rich Sudan offered two oil and gas blocks to ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) on the sidelines of Petrotech 2014 on 14 January 2014. The offer by Sudan will help India strengthen its energy ties with the African nations.
Sudan offered the onland Block 8 and Block 15 to the OVL on a nomination basis. Block 8 will have an oil discovery while Block 15 will have exploration acreage. OVL will evaluate the data and take 100 percent rights if it finds them feasible for investment.
OVL, the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corp, has been present in Sudan since 2003. In 2003, it acquired 25 percent stake in the Block 1, 2 and 4 of the Greater Nile Project (GNOP) and Sudan Crude Transport System.
Greater Nile Oil Project (GNOP) is spread over an area of 49500 square kilometres in the Muglad Basin, located about 700 km southwest of the capital city of Khartoum. It also owns a 1504 km crude oil pipeline from the oilfield in Heglig to Port Sudan at Red Sea.
Union Minister of Oil and Natural Gas, Veerapa Moily welcoming the offer from Sudan also held talks with his Azerbaijan counterpart Natig Aliyev on the sidelines of Petrotech 2014. The Azerbaijan minister welcomed Indian participation in both upstream and downstream projects.
OVL in 2013 bought a stake in the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oilfields as well as the Baku-Tbilsi-Ceyhan pipeline, which was supported by Azerbaijan. The southwestern Asian nation is now keen to get Indian participation in more producing assets.
Earlier, ONGC and Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) signed an initial agreement for broad cooperation. The agreement could lead to KPC picking up stakes in the ONGC Mangalore Petrochemicals Ltd (OMPL) and ONGC Petro-Additions Ltd (OPAL) projects.
OMPL petrochemicals complex is subsidiary of Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals. OPAL petro chemicals project is a joint venture of GAIL and Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) in Gujarat.