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ONGC, Norsk Hydro ink pact To explore projects in Iran, Cuba: Aiyar

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Our Bureau

New Delhi, Sept. 2

ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of ONGC, has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Norsk Hydro, a private Norwegian upstream company.

Speaking to presspersons from Oslo in a teleconference here today, Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar, the Petroleum Minister, said in terms of the understanding the two companies have agreed to cooperate in third countries, particularly in West Asia, where they are already active.

The two would also be looking at projects in Cuba and Iran, the Minister said. He, however, did not elaborate on the kind of projects the two would be looking at in Iran. The MoU is one of the five agreements signed during the ongoing visit of the Petroleum Minister to Norway.

The agreement was singed on Thursday. When asked whether the two companies would be setting up a joint venture company in the long term, Mr N.K. Mitra, Director (offshore), ONGC, said equity details of the joint venture had not been worked out.

As regards the proposed tie-up between Indian Oil Corporation-Oil India Ltd combine and the Norwegian company Statoil, the Petroleum Minister said that a Statoil team is expected to visit India to work out the details.

The five bilateral agreements epitomise the consensual view in India and Norway to promote relations, Mr Aiyar said. An agreement was also signed between the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) of India and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate to enhance institutional cooperation as also to pursue interaction in the areas of research and development, and safety and training.

Further, ONGC has also entered into three agreements with Norwegian organisations in the areas of research and development.

In association with the Hyderabad-based National Geo-Physical Research Institute, ONGC has signed an agreement with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology to pursue cooperation in the area of reservoir modelling for enhanced oil recovery using fractals and 4D seismic.

Other areas envisaged in the agreement include cooperation in the onshore and offshore areas with respect to enhanced oil recovery and to develop the knowledge base for reservoir surveillance.

ONGC has signed another agreement with ROXAR Software Solutions to cooperate in the area of integration of real time data monitoring systems with log modelling and geological model update process.

The final agreement is between ONGC and SINTEF to collaborate in the areas of occupational health, safety and the environment.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 3, 2005)
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