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OVL offers

participation in Cuban blocks

Norsk Hydro

to assist ONGC on contract basis

Norway is

third largest exporter of oil and gas

New Delhi, Nov 2

Norsk Hydro of Norway has offered ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of ONGC, stake in an Angolan exploration block and the Aranan field in Iran.

OVL, on its part, has offered Norsk Hydro participation in its two exploratory deep water blocks in Cuba.

Mr Dinsha Patel, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, said: "Norsk Hydro has agreed for participation of OVL in the Angolan block number 34 in which it has 50 per cent participation interest."

Brazil's Petrobras holds the remaining half in the same block.

Mr Patel also said the Scandinavian company has offered OVL part of its 50 per cent stake in the onshore Aranan field of Iran. (The National Iranian Oil Co holds the other half of the field.)

The Minister was speaking at the conclusion of the two-day joint working group meeting on hydrocarbons between the two countries, which was attended by Mr Odd Roger Enoksen, Norwegian Minister for Petroleum and Energy.

Some of the other decisions taken by the two included development of ONGC's fields in the Krishna-Godavari Basin.

Norsk Hydro has agreed to provide assistance to ONGC on service contract basis.

It has also agreed to provide detailed exploitation technology for the development of thin oil rim Vasai East and Bassein Field of Western offshore.

Last year, five bilateral agreements and a Protocol of Intent were signed between organisations of both countries, covering a wide spectrum of activities in the areas of co-operation in deepwater drilling, field development and reservoir management, occupational health, safety and environment and reservoir modelling for enhanced oil recovery. Both countries had also agreed on carrying out two projects on evaluation of knowledge management and data management practices in hydrocarbon resources in India through e-operation.

"The progress of activities envisaged in these MoUs is going on satisfactorily. ONGC, the Directorate-General of Hydrocarbons and the companies, as well as institutes of Norway, are working closely with each other to implement the MoUs at the field level. Pursuant to the understanding between ONGC and Norsk Hydro on account of Protocol of Intent/MoUs, the decisions of offering stake and participation in development activities were taken," Mr Patel said.Speaking to newspersons on the sidelines of the meeting, Mr R.S. Butola, Managing Director of OVL, said that the size of the stakes offered by the two companies are yet to be decided.India currently imports 70 per cent of its crude consumption, while Norway produces three million barrels of oil a day.Mr Enoksen told newspersons that Norway does not see any possibility of increasing its crude oil output. "There is no possibility to increase oil production. It is at a maximum."Norway, which is not part of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), is the third largest exporter of oil and gas. Mr Enoksen also said that he was comfortable with the current international price of crude oil, which is hovering around $60 a barrel.

Related Stories:
OVL inks pact to operate 2 Cuban blocks
OVL bids for oil block in Angola

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 3, 2006)
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