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Rediff.com  » Business » 2 Canadian firms may bid jointly for NELP VI

2 Canadian firms may bid jointly for NELP VI

April 21, 2006 12:10 IST

Canadian oil majors Canoro Resources and Brownstone Ventures are planning to join hands for the sixth round of oil and gas block bids, under new exploration and licensing policy.

Canoro will sell off 15 per cent participating interest in two blocks in Assam-Arakan basin to Brownstone Ventures. The two companies recently signed a letter of intent in this regard.

Rob McInnis, director (new ventures and investor relations), Canoro, told Business Standard that the company was reviewing the available data on the NELP VI blocks to determine the potential of the blocks.

"Canoro is in talks with Indian and foreign companies regarding NELP and other initiatives in India. Once we can determine which blocks Canoro is interested in, then we can zero in on the best partners for that block," McInnis said.

Brownstone is an investment company with interests in oil and natural gas sector. The company would pay $2 million to Canoro for the 15 per cent participatory stake.

In addition, Canoro would be issued 400,000 shares and 200,000 options of Brownstone. The transaction is expected to benefit Canoro's ongoing development programme in Amguri field and its interests in securing more oil and gas blocks through NELP VI.

Canoro currently holds 65 per cent operating stake in a blcok. Kolkata-based Assam Company has 35 per cent participatory interest in the nomination block.

The second block is held jointly by Canoro (30 per cent), power major NTPC (40 per cent) and Geopetrol International of France (30 per cent). Geopetrol is the operator of the block.

"We are currently testing two wells at Amguri and selling the production to Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) through an Oil India Ltd facility at Moran. The company is in the process of implementing facilities to allow full production from these wells and drill development wells in the upcoming dry season," he added.

"We are still in the process of budgeting our bids, which will be ready soon. All of our investment will be in the upstream sector and we no plans for any downstream activities," he said.

For the exploration and production activities, Canoro has appointed Gauri Kanta Handique as exploration director, John Holroyd as geoscience technical advisor, and Baijee Gogoi as senior geologist.

Handique was assistant vice-president and senior advisor in the oil and gas division of Reliance Industries. Holroyd has been employed as an exploration and field development consultant with Cairn Energy

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Nevin John in Mumbai
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