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Oil PSUs in shopping mode with $6-bn kitty

business Updated: Jan 18, 2012 01:25 IST
Anupama Airy
Anupama Airy
Hindustan Times
Anupama Airy

Defying possibilities of an economic slowdown, cash-rich oil PSUs including ONGC, OIL, GAIL and IOC have set aside close to $6 billion (Rs 30,000 crore) during 2012-13 as overseas investment that would include acquisition of assets abroad.

State-owned ONGC alone has projected an overseas spending of more than $4 billion (Rs 20,461 crore) in 2012-13 followed by OIL at $1.5 billion (Rs 7,000 crore). On the domestic front too, both ONGC and OIL have ambitious spending plans of close to Rs 33,000 crore and Rs 3,500 crore respectively in the next fiscal. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/18-01-12-buss23b.jpg

“We (ONGC) are looking at multiple lucrative oil and gas assets as part of our acquisition plans in UK, US, Africa and North America,” said a senior ONGC official. “ONGC has cash reserves of around Rs 25,000 crore. With a mix of debt and equity, we can acquire multi-billion dollar assets.”

Both GAIL and OIL have already announced their plans for big size acquisitions of shale gas assets in the US. Besides, OIL is also looking at acquiring other assets jointly with GAIL and other oil PSUs.

“We have kept aside Rs 1,000 crore for overseas investment during 2012-13 in addition of our plans to spend Rs 8,500 in various ongoing projects in India,” said a senior GAIL official.

IOC has projected investments close to Rs 10,000 crore in domestic projects, but given financial pressures, it is not looking at huge overseas investments.