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ONGC Videsh eyes Chevron gas block in Vietnam

Chevron has called for expression of interests from international firms willing to farm in (or buy stake) in the $4.3-billion block. OVL is keen to take part or whole of the stake in the block.

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's (ONGC) overseas arm ONGC Videsh (OVL) plans to buy a stake in US super major Chevron's $4.3-billion Block B gas project in Vietnam.

Chevron has called for expression of interests from international firms willing to farm in (or buy stake), said sources adding that OVL is keen to take part or whole of the stake in the block, which has 4 trillion cubic feet of inplace reserves, of which 63 per cent can be recovered or produced.

Chevron holds 42.38-per cent stake in Blocks B and 48/95 in Malay-Tho Chu Basin of Vietnam. It can produce up to 490 million cubic feet of gas and 6,000-7,000 barrel of condensate per day.

Others who are reported to be interested in picking up the stake include Gazprom of Russia. Hanoi is seeking to involve Russia and India to counter the influence of China, with whom it has a territorial dispute. It has offered OVL five offshore oil and gas exploration areas in South China Sea and its Kossor block in Uzbekistan without bidding.

Sources said that OVL feels Vietnam will support its bid for Chevron stake by giving necessary approval and waiving its first right of refusal. OVL already has 45-per cent stake in Block 06.1, which produces about 12.8 million standard cubic metres per day of gas and 1,896 barrels per day of condensate.

OVL feels it can get the Chevron stake as it has an experience in operating at the offshore Vietnam.

Sources said that Chevron has prepared a development plan to produce gas from the block but hasn't started work over a dispute with Vietnam's national oil firm PetroVietnam about the price of gas.

In association with Mail Today