Home | News    Friday 10 March 2006

Sudan to award oil blocks to India’s ONGC

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Mar 9, 2006 (NEW DELHI) — Sudan will soon award India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) two exploration blocks, a statement from a business chamber quoted the Sudanese ambassador to India as saying on Thursday.

A spokesman for ONGC declined immediate comment.

"An announcement would be made at the appropriate time," he said.

The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India said Sudan’s envoy Abdul Mahmood Mohammed told Indian businessmen that his government was planning to award several projects in sectors such as railways, tourism and airports to Indian firms. Last month, the ambassador said Sudan would award two exploration blocks to India’s Reliance Industries Ltd..

ONGC’s wholly-owned overseas subsidiary, ONGC Videsh, has stakes in five oil and gas blocks in Sudan.

India, which imports 70 percent of the oil it consumes, is encouraging private and state-run firms to acquire foreign oilfields to meet the country’s energy needs.

India’s oil demand is expected to grow with the economy, Asia’s third-largest, likely to expand by 7-8 percent a year in the medium term.

ONGC, with stakes in oil projects in more than a dozen countries including Russia, Sudan and Vietnam, is leading India’s efforts to acquire foreign oil and gas assets, but private firms have also started venturing out.

Essar oil has signed contracts to explore oil and gas in Myanmar, while Videocon Industries, has won an exploration block in Nigeria.

(Reuters)

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