Millennium Post

Japan’s Inpex buys 26% of ONGC’s KG basin block

Japan's largest oil firm Inpex Corp has acquired a 26 per cent stake in Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's (ONGC) Krishna Godavari basin deep sea block, the ONGC said on Monday. 'ONGC and Inpex have entered into a strategic partnership for exploration of hydrocarbons in one of the acreages in KG basin,' the state-owned firm said in a statement here.

Inpex acquired 26 per cent interest in Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's KG-DWN- 2004/6 block located in the deepwaters of the KG Basin in the Bay of Bengal. Financial details of the transaction will be announced later.

'Both companies on Monday inked a farm-out agreement at ONGC's corporate headquarters in New Delhi,' said the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation statement. ONGC will continue as the operator of the block with a 34 per cent stake.

The other partners in the block include state gas utility GAIL India Ltd, Gujarat State Petroleum Corp Ltd (GPSC), Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) with 10 per cent stake each.

The boards of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Inpex have already approved the proposal, it said. The block KG-DWN-2004/6, awarded to an ONGC-led consortium under the sixth round of the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) in 2007, is located some 300 km off the Andhra Pradesh coast.

It covers an area of 10,907 sq km and sits at a water depth of approximately 3,000 meters.

'ONGC has completed most of the phase-I exploration programme in the block except drilling of one well which is to be taken up,' the company said.

The tie-up comes on the heels of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's recent alliances this year with global majors like US-based ConocoPhillips, China's CNPC and Colombia's Ecopetrol SA.

The alliance with Inpex 'is yet another successful effort in its attempt to collaborate and expand its strategic interests', added Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.
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