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GSPC-Essar bid for Syrian oil block

Source: PTI
August 08, 2007 12:32 IST
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A consortium of Gujarat State Petroleum Corp and Mumbai-based Essar Group has bid for an oil and gas exploration block in Syria.

Syria had offered seven onshore oil and gas blocks in the latest auction and a 50:50 joint venture of GSPC and Essar Exploration and Production Ltd bid for Block XIV last month, sources in GSPC said.

This is the first time GSPC and Essar have bid together for an oil property abroad. While GSPC has seven oil and gas blocks in Yemen, Egypt and Australia, Essar holds interest in five fields in Myanmar, Madagascar and Nigeria.

Sources said the Gujarat government-run GSPC won three out of four blocks it had bid recently in Yemen. GSPC, which is the operator with 45 per cent stake, and its partners Jubilant Enpro (30 per cent) and Alkor Petro (25 per cent) won blocks 19, 28 and 57.

In Egypt, GSPC has interest in offshore block number six (N-HAPY) and onshore block number eight (S-DIYUR) in partnership with Alkor Petro and GeoGlobal Resources.

Besides, it has three blocks in Australia with Oilex and Videocon. Essar, on the other hand, recently won an offshore oil block 226 in Nigeria with reserves of up to 80 million barrels.

It also has 100 per cent stake in two contiguous exploration blocks L (on-land) and A-2 (offshore) in Myanmar. These are located along the Rakhine Coast, Indian Ocean and in the vicinity of recent offshore gas discoveries and on- land oil finds forming a part of the same structural trends from Assam and Bangladesh to the Andamans.

Essar has already taken stakes in three oil and gas exploration blocks in Madagascar and is now scouting for upstream opportunities in 12 countries in the Middle East, Central Asia, South East Asia and Africa, sources said.

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