Russia’s Rosneft has offered ONGC Videsh Ltd a stake in Magadan-2 and Magadan-3 exploration blocks in the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk in eastern Russia, Oil Minister M. Veerappa Moily said today.

“OVL team visited the data room and blocks are currently under evaluation,” he said in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha here. “Based on initial evaluation, blocks are indicated to be rank exploratory in nature and involve high risk of investment.”

OVL, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, has been invited to jointly participate with Rosneft in exploration of the Magadan-2 and Magadan-3 blocks.

The blocks Magadan-2 and Magadan-3 are situated in the Okhotsk sea in the eastern part of Russia, he said adding the Okhotsk sea is bounded by mainland Russia in the west and north and by Kamchatka-Kuril peninsula towards east and northeast Hokkaido (Japan) to the south.

OVL is keen to get a foothold in the Arctic projects and expand in Siberia and Far East Russia.

Rosneft had last year got the licence to explore in five areas in the Sea of Okhotsk — Magadan-1, -2 and -3, Lisyansky and Kashevarovsky. The area is estimated to hold 2.8 billion tonnes of oil and oil equivalent natural gas.

Sources said OVL had in May written to Rosneft expressing interest in taking a stake in oil and gas blocks in the Russia’s Arctic region which have recently been given out to US major ExxonMobil, Italian giant ENI and Norway’s Statoil for exploration.

Russian firm had also recently roped in Statoil for four new joint ventures, including exploring the Magadan 1, Lisyansky and Kashevarovsky blocks that have recoverable reserves of 1.4 billion tonnes.

OVL has 20 per cent stake in the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas field in the Russian Pacific ocean and had bought Imperial Energy, which has fields in Siberia, in 2008.

(This article was published on December 18, 2012)
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