ONGC Videsh wins two exploration blocks in Brazil

New Delhi, Nov 28: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited’s wholly-owned subsidiary ONGC Videsh has bagged two blocks in Brazil, namely deepwater Block 470 in the highly prospective Espirito Santo basin and shallow water Block 1413 in another highly prospective Santos basin, amid stiff competition from International companies.

Earlier, Agência Nacional do Petróleo (ANP), the regulatory agency of Brazil, had announced the opening of Brazil Round 9, in which, 271 blocks, distributed among nine basins, totalling almost 73,000 km² in deepwater, shallow water and onshore were on offer.

Seventy-four E&P companies had applied for qualification; ONGC Videsh was among twenty four which qualified as Operator “A” including Petrobras, Shell, Exxon, ENI, Chevron.

In a public ceremony at the Windsor Barra Hotel, the companies submitted bids for the various blocks on offer and the bids were opened in the presence of the participants on 27th November 2007. A total of around R$ 2.1 Billion (almost around US$ 1.2 Billion) was offered by the companies as signature bonus which has created a record and surpassed all expectations.

For Block ES 470 won by ONGC Videsh (OVL), competitive bids were offered by a consortium led by Petrobras and another consortium led by Perenco. For another Block SM 1413 won by ONGC Videsh competitive bids were offered by Petrobras and Ecopetrol.

Congratulating the ONGC VIDESH team, Nelson Monterio, Director of ANP expressed great satisfaction on the development and promised to extend all help and cooperation of the ANP to ONGC VIDESH.

OVL already has a minority interest in Block BC-10 which is under development and has recently signed the Farm-out Agreement with Petrobras for three offshore blocks.

Earlier, in September OVL had won three blocks, one in consortium with Ecopetrol and Petrobras and two in consortium with Ecopetrol, in the Carribbean bid round of Colombia, of which it is the operator in two.

Speaking on the occasion, MD of OVL R S Butola stated that OVL had made a focused bidding for some of the blocks and it was very satisfying for the company to have won the two prioritized blocks.

CMD ONGC and Chairman OVL R S Sharma observed that this success is a step further towards consolidation of OVL’s activities in Latin America, for the much needed equity oil for India. (ANI)