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India to seek stake in Sakhalin projects

Special Correspondent

Murli Deora on a three-day visit to Russia from November 25

NEW DELHI: Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora will seek a ‘major stake’ for India in Sakhalin-IV and V oil fields off Russia’s Far East Coast and explore the possibility for setting up a huge petrochemical hub during his three-day visit to Russia from November 25.

ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), has a presence in the Sakhalin-I project. It owns a 20 per cent stake in the Sakhalin-I oil and gas project, which is operated by Exxon Mobil Corporation. OVL’s 20 per cent stake in the Sakhalin-I field has fetched the country 2.4 million tonnes of crude annually.

The Sakhalin Island is a world-class hydrocarbon province with five super giant oil and gas fields. Proven basin reserves are in the order of 5.5 billion barrels of oil and 35 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Oil assets abroad

Mr. Deora said as part of the policy to expand the reach of Indian companies to seek oil and gas assets abroad, the Central Government was keen on tapping every possible source. “We have a good working relationship with Russia and are keen on extending the Sakhalin-I partnership,” Mr. Deora added.

Sakhalin-I and II projects have been decided and Russia plans to invite bids in future for Sakhalin-III, IV, V and VI projects. India is expected to pitch for an agreement between OVL and Russia’s major Rosneft for a joint bidding in the Sakhalin-IV project. Also in focus are the Trebs and Titov exploration blocks in the Timan Pechora region, for which a partnership with Rosneft will be sought.

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