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Deora to seek higher stake in Sakhalin oil, gas projects

Seeking to expand hydrocarbon assets abroad for achieving energy security, New Delhi will seek a higher stake for Indian companies in future Sakhalin oil and gas projects in Far-East Russia.

Petroleum Minister Murli Deora raised the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to India in January and sought to expand this partnership beyond the first phase of the Sakhalin project, a request that elicited a positive response.

ONGC Videsh Limited’s 20 per cent stake in Sakhalin-I fields is fetching the nation 2.4 million tonnes of crude a year.

Mr. Deora will use his Moscow visit, beginning October 23, to push for OVL’s participation in the Sakhalin fields, according to highly placed sources.

Sakhalin-I and II projects have already been decided and Russia is planning to invite bids for Sakhalin-III, IV, V and VI projects in the energy-rich region.

The Minister is likely to seek an agreement between OVL and Russia’s Rosneft for joint bidding for the Sakhalin-III project.

Also on the discussion agenda are the Trebs and Titov exploration blocks in the Timan Pechora region, for which partnership with Rosneft will be sought.

India is keen on OVL forming a 49:51 joint venture with either Rosneft or the Russian gas giant Gazprom to pursue other oil and gas exploration opportunities.

OVL is also eyeing oilfields in East Siberia that is estimated to hold around 20 billion barrels of reserves, and the Russian continental shelf which may contain oil and gas in four million sqkm of its total area of 6.5 million sqkm.

OVL’s participation in the 3.2-trillion cubic metre, super giant gas field Shtokman and the Prirazlomneye oilfield, which holds recoverable oil reserves of more than 83 million tonnes, is likely to figure in the discussions.

It will seek an agreement to develop the Vankor field, for which Rosneft is looking for new partners, and a stake in the Kurmangazy field.

Besides, New Delhi wants to convert Sakhalin-I gas into liquefied natural gas for shipping it back home, say the sources

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