The country’s largest oil refining and marketing firm, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), which has been scouting for an oil property for the last several years, said it is all set to acquire a mid-sized oil producing property in the next six months with an investment of upto $ 1 billion (Rs 4,600 crore).
IOC chairman and managing director, Sarthak Behuria told the Hindustan Times that the company is evaluating three deals for acquisition of a producing oil property with reserves of 500 million barrels of oil (or 7.5 million tonnes per annum).
Countries on IOC's radar for this property include Africa, Australia, and the South East Asian region.
Asked if IOC was also looking at Central Asian countries like Russia and Khazakhstan, where India’s ONGC already has strong foothold, Behuria said, “We are not looking that far. There will be logistics issues of getting that oil to India.”
“We are looking at properties from where oil can be brought to India. We are hopeful and our endeavour is to complete the transaction in the next six months,” Director (Business Development), B M Bansal said.
India, which processes around 155 million tonnes of crude oil every year in its refineries, imports over 70 per cent of its crude oil requirements every year. As much as $80 billion was spent last year for importing 123 million tonnes of crude oil.
“We need to bring down on our dependence on oil imports. If the deal materialises, it will help us achieve our energy security goals,” Bansal added.
State-owned, Oil India Ltd (OIL) will partner IOC endeavour in acquiring this producing oil field. “We will invest jointly with IOC in acquiring stakes in a producing oil property,” Director (Finance), OIL, T K Ananth Kumar said.