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IOC on an acquisition spree

business Updated: May 31, 2007 20:26 IST
Vyas Mohan

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is planning to acquire oil blocks in countries like Nigeria, Libya and the Middle East. It is also looking for joint venture partners for exploration and production of oil, sources close to the company said.

"We are scanning for oil blocks in Nigeria, Libya and the Middle East. We are also looking for ideal partners to form joint ventures for exploration and production of oil. This would help us increase our traction globally," a top official of the company said.

According to the source, the company had dollar 8.5 billion in cash reserves at the end of fiscal 2006-07. While a bulk of this amount would be spent on capacity expansions and global exploration, a fair amount would be used to fund acquisition in the current financial year, he said.

While IOC's turnover crossed Rs 2 lakh crore in the financial year 2007, the product exports of IOC increased from 2 million tonnes in fiscal 2005-06 to 3.1 million tonnes in 2006-07.

The company plans to spend Rs 5,500 crore as capital expenditure in the current fiscal and is also looking at acquiring 20,000-30,000 hectres of land in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh for Jetropha cultivation.

Now ranked at 153 in the Fortune 500 list, the company's global businesses have started turning rapid of late. Lanka IOC, its subsidiary in Sri Lanka, is now the largest private petrochemical firm in the island country. Indian Oil Mauritius, another subsidiary of IOC, also posted good numbers in the financial year 2006-07.