ONGC looking to exit N-E, Assam govt eyes stake | india | Hindustan Times
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ONGC looking to exit N-E, Assam govt eyes stake

The Assam government is pushing for a substantial stake in a joint venture entity to replace the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in the northeastern region.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2010 21:35 IST
Rahul Karmakar

The Assam government is pushing for a substantial stake in a joint venture entity to replace the public sector behemoth Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in the northeastern region.

The ONGC had last year proposed a leaner subsidiary to manage its Assam Asset operations spanning Assam, Nagaland and Tripura, in view of dwindling production and higher overheads in the north-east.

Crude output from the region has come down to 1.1 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) during the past decade.

While ONGC has been ducking under socio-political bouncers, Oil India Limited (OIL) has shown interest in acquiring the Assam Asset establishments. OIL has been producing 3.5 MMPTA of crude in areas beyond ONGC’s acquisition.

On Tuesday, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi welcomed OIL’s bid, but said he preferred a consortium comprising ONGC, OIL and the State-run Assam Hydrocarbon Company Ltd (AHCL).

“I’ll be raising the matter with the Prime Minister,” he said. “We want a conglomerate

where we will have a substantial stake.”

The Assam government had floated AHCL three years ago, and it has three oilfields in the marginal area of Geleki in eastern Assam. It also has a 17 per cent stake in Numaligarh Refinery Limited.