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Norway wealth fund drops ONGC over South Sudan ties

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September 4, 2021 (OSLO/JUBA) - Norway’s $1.4 trillion wealth fund has excluded India’s top oil producer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) from its portfolio due to concerns over the company’s business dealings in South Sudan, the fund said in a statement.

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India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC)

Exclusions are based on advice from the fund’s ethics watchdog.

For ONGC, the primary concern was over its participation in two joint ventures in oil-dependent South Sudan with local Nile Petroleum Corporation, the watchdog said.

The country is facing violent clashes between rival factions which continues even after the end of a civil war in 2018.

"The council considers that ONGC through its operations has accepted a risk of contributing to serious abuse committed to enable oil production in the country," said the watchdog, formally known as the Council on Ethics.

"The council also takes into consideration that actors who are directly or indirectly responsible for grave violations are providing services to the joint ventures and are responsible for the security at the oil fields that the joint ventures operate,” it added.

The oil and gas producing company was not immediately available to comment.

Set up in 1996 to preserve Norway’s oil revenues for future generations, the fund reportedly holds around 1.4% of globally listed shares and its decisions are often followed by other investors.

(ST)

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