OVL to start exploration in Kazakhstan next month: Pradhan

Rajalakshmi S | | Updated on: Jun 17, 2015
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Company to invest up to $400 m for exploration activities in Satpayev block

ONGC Videsh will start drilling exploratory wells in the Satpayev block in Kazakhstan from next month, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday.

Pradhan was speaking after signing a bilateral protocol agreement with the Kazakhstan Energy Minister Vladimir Shkolnik after officials from the two sides met for the 12{+t}{+h} Meeting of the India-Kazakhstan Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, technical, Industrial and Cultural Cooperation.

“Co-operation in the energy sector was a focus of the meeting. ONGC Videsh is working there and has seen satisfactory progress there. We expect them to start exploratory drilling next month. We are also studying the feasibility of transporting crude oil and gas from Kazakhstan to India through a pipeline or as LNG,” said the Minister.

Discussions also took place on transport and logistics linkages. Pradhan said India and Kazakhstan have decided to establish a joint working group on connectivity.

“With the opening of the rail link between Iran-Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, we will explore the possibility of this route being developed as a linked corridor to the International North South Transport Corridor,” he said.

Meanwhile, ONGC Videsh’s Managing Director N K Verma said that the company will invest upto $400 million for exploration activities in Satpayev block. Exploratory drilling is expected to start next month with two wells being drilled. “The company has already invested $150 million in the block. We have also committed to invest up to $400 million over there. While we have 25 per cent stake in the block, we will be funding the entire exploration activities,” said Verma.

Verma also said that the company may look at selling strategic stake in some of its exploration assets as and when required.

“We have a mandate to bring in as much equity oil and gas as possible. So as a policy we will not sell production assets but if a strategic partner is required in some exploratory assets we will bring them on board as and when required, he added.

Published on January 24, 2018

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