Petroleum Minister Murli Deora and Chairman of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation R S Sharma are planning a visit to Russia in the first week of next month, hoping the Russian government would give its assent for the proposed acquisition of UK-listed Imperial Energy.
ONGC Videsh Ltd, the wholly-owned subsidiary of ONGC, had emerged as the sole bidder for acquiring Imperial Energy. However, the Russian government has to approve the acquisition as oil fields controlled by Imperial are located in Russia.
"As of now, we are scheduled to be in Moscow on November 5. The minister is leading a delegation," said Sharma, adding it was not yet sure if the Imperial deal would figure in the discussions with the Russian authorities. OVL agreed to buy Imperial Energy for $2.8 billion in August.
PTI quoting Russian news agencies reported that two government agencies, both led by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, are likely to approve the deal before December this year. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is scheduled to visit India in the first week of December.
Imperial, which has oil assets in Siberia and north Kazakhsthan, currently produces around 10,000 barrels of oil per day. It hopes to increase production to 35,000 barrels per day by the end of 2009 and 80,000 barrels per day by 2011, the company said on its Web site.
The company, which was formed in 2004, made $19.15 million losses in the first six months of this financial year ended June 2008, compared with $20.72 million losses in the first six months of 2007. In the 2007 financial year, it incurred losses of $42.59 million.