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ONGC loses Angolan bid to Chinese consortium

July 14, 2006 15:39 IST

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation has lost out on a bid for an oil block in Angola to a Chinese-led consortium.

The Indian firm offered $ 310-million signature bonus for becoming a partner in Block 18 but its bid fell short of $ 725 million offered by a 75/25 Sino-Angolan joint venture, Sonangol-Sinopec International, industry sources said.

ONGC had bid lower than even Angola's Grupo Gema ($ 400 million).

Sources said pre-qualified operators for Block 18, Petrobras of Brazil and Chevron of US bid only $ 276 million and $ 272 million respectively.

However, Petrobras has been made operator taking a 30 per cent interest with SSI getting a 40 per cent stake. Angola's Falcon Oil and Gema Group have 5 per cent working interest each.

Angola had offered seven blocks -- three in shallow water and four in deep water -- in its first offshore licensing round.

Total of France is likely to get operatorship of Block 17 with 35 to 40 per cent share, leaving SSI with 27.5 per cent and three Luanda-based juniors-Angola Consulting Resources, Falcon Oil and Prodoil-and perhaps even Portugal-based Partex Oil&Gas to share the remaining interest, each with stakes of about 5 per cent, sources said.

On Block 15, Eni offered $ 902-million signature bonus to take 35 per cent stake. SSI will have 20 per cent interest and Angola's Sonangol P&P with 15 per cent carried interest. Total will have 15 per cent stake and Statoil of Norway, Petrobras and Falcon Oil would each hold 5 per cent.

Petrobras landed operatorship of Block 26 (80 per cent) and Block 6 (40 per cent), the latter in partnership with Norway's InterOil E&P, Falcon Oil and another Angolan junior Initial Oil & Gas.

InterOil is also a partner in Block 5, which was won by US-based Vaalco Energy, while London-headquartered Tullow Oil will control Block 1.

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