ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas investment arm of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, is in talks to set up a refinery in Nigeria.
“In efforts to broad-base our activities, OVL is discussing setting up a greenfield refinery in Nigeria,” Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said at the second India-Africa Hydrocarbon Conference in the capital on Monday.
Though Deora did not give details, officials said he was referring to OVL’s proposal to build a 180,000 barrels per day refinery along with steel baron Lakshmi N. Mittal in return for oil blocks.
ONGC-Mittal Energy Ltd (OMEL), the joint venture of OVL and Mittal Investment Sarl, landed two Nigerian blocks --- OPL 285 and OPL 279 --- in the 2006 round in return for downstream commitments either in power, rail or refining.
OPL-285 is a deep-water block, in which OMEL, through OMEL Energy Nigeria, holds 64.33 per cent stake and ‘operatorship’. The other partners in the block are local Nigerian company EMO (10 per cent), and French firm Total (25.67 per cent). In OPL 276, Total has 14.5 per cent.
Deora said India was keen to expand import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Africa.
Alongside, ONGC is interested in acquiring a stake in Ghana's giant Jubilee oilfield but the African nation has exercised its first right of refusal on the stake sale.
“A lot of companies are interested in buying Jubilee stake,” Ghana's deputy energy minister Emmanuel Armah-Kohi Buah told reporters here today. “I’m sure ONGC is one of them.”
Closely-held US firm Kosmos Energy LLC said on October 12 it agreed to sell its Ghanaian assets, including its stake in Jubilee, to US oil behemoth ExxonMobil for $4 billion (Rs 18,600 crore).