Petroleum Minister Murli Deora has said the government will bid for a 20 per cent stake in Russia's Sakhalin III oil and gas field project on behalf of ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas investment arm of exploration major Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had assured his support for ONGC Videsh Ltd taking a 20 per cent stake in the project, Deora said on Thursday.
The minister said the government wanted to sign a definitive agreement in this regard during Putin's state visit, which began on Thursday.
The minister was scheduled to meet Putin later in the day to discuss increased cooperation in the energy sector. This included ONGC Videsh's interest in other exploration blocks.
The minister said ONGC Videsh would also seek an agreement with Rosneft for the development of the Vankor field, for which Rosneft is seeking new partners, and a stake in the Kurmangazy field.
ONGC Videsh already owns 20 per cent in Sakhalin-I, a $17-billion oil and gas project led by ExxonMobil and involving Rosneft. The project is likely to give India 2.4 million tonnes of oil a year.
ONGC has also signed an agreement with Rosneft for joint exploration, production and marketing in India, Russia and other countries. Under the agreement, the two companies will jointly bid for stakes in oil and gas blocks all over the world.
The agreement also provides for Rosneft participating in refining and retail marketing projects in India.