After tying up with steel czar Lakshmi N Mittal, state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) is roping in diversified, multi-billion dollar Hinduja Group for acquiring oilfields abroad and sourcing liquefied natural gas.
While ONGC roped in Mittal Group to use its 'influence' in African and Central Asian countries to acquire oil and gas fields, the state-run firm is tapping Hindujas to leverage their business relations in oil and gas rich Middle East region, industry sources said.
A formal agreement to float a 51:49 joint venture, similar to the ONGC Mittal Energy Ltd (OMEL) formed last year, is likely to be signed this month.
The ONGC-Hinduja venture has initially identified seven countries - Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Saudi Arabia and UAE - for acquiring stake in oil and gas fields and firming up LNG supplies.
Though OMEL had identified Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Congo, Angola, Trinidad and Tobago, Romania and Indonesia as priority areas for doing business, the joint venture has landed with two blocks in Nigeria.
Sources said ONGC had in 2006 signed an MoU with Ashok Leyland Project Services, a Hinduja Group company, to float a 50:50 joint venture to invest in LNG terminals with associated power, petrochemicals, gas pipeline grid projects and related opportunities in southern India.
The MoU called for the Hindujas to play a lead role in importing up to 10 million tonnes per annum of LNG and jointly set up power plants with a capacity of between 1,000-1,800 MW.