Richa Mishra

New Delhi, Dec 15

THE Indian Oil Corporation (IndianOil)-Oil India Ltd combine, which is eyeing oil and gas assets overseas, had a preliminary meeting with a high-level team of Norwegian energy major Statoil ASA for possible agreement for future ventures.

IndianOil-Oil India combine and Statoil have been looking for a possible joining of forces for acquisition of assets in third countries. Sources told Business Line that presentations were made by the parties on Tuesday on various issues, but discussions were still at a preliminary stage.

The potential for a tie-up was discussed during the visit of the Petroleum Minister, Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar, to Norway earlier this year.

The official, however, did not specify whether a MoU would be inked or not to jointly pursue upstream ventures. The proposed collaboration between OIL-IndianOil and Statoil was in line with recommendations made by the Government panel on Synergy in Energy. India is looking for possible collaboration with Norway to acquire oil and gas assets in Barents Sea, known to have great hydrocarbon potential.

Statoil is an integrated oil and gas company with 23,899 employees and presence in 29 countries. The group handles 60 per cent of all Norwegian oil and gas production, and its international production is rising steeply.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 16, 2005)
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