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ONGC blocks unattractive: Statoil

March 09, 2005 13:03 IST
Statoil of Norway has declined Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's offer of equity in five deep sea oil and gas exploration blocks.

"Statoil executive vice president Peter Mellbye has informed us that their exploration department has found the five exploration blocks on offer 'unattractive'," a top ONGC official said.

ONGC had offered Statoil up to 50 per cent equity in five deep water blocks it got on nomination basis a few years ago.

It had also offered to tie up with the Norwegian major to bid jointly for some of the deepwater blocks on offer in the fifth round of New Exploration Licensing Policy.

The PSU was looking for partners to farm-out equity in three Krishna Godavari basin blocks and one each in the Kerala, Konkan and Kutch basins. All five were being auctioned alongside 20 exploration blocks on offer under NELP-V.

The official said Mellbye has written to ONGC chairman and managing director Subir Raha that Statoil would evaluate blocks on offer in NELP-V and "based on data room results, a decision will be made to bid or not".

Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar had been pushing for ONGC-Statoil tie-up as he believed that the Norwegian firm could have helped ONGC rectify a perceived weakness in the planning of its deepwater campaign.

ONGC's deep sea oil and hunt programme, named 'Sagar Samridhi', has seen more than a dozen wells drilled on the east and west coasts all but two of which were dry.

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