• Cabinet clears IOC-OIL-BPCL’s Russian stake buy for $3.14 bn

    The Cabinet today gave its nod to a consortium of IOC, Oil India and BPCL buying stakes in two Russian oilfields for a total of USD 3.14 billion.

    Indian Oil Corp, Oil India and a unit of Bharat Petroleum Corporation(BPCL) will buy 29.9 per cent stake in Taas-Yuryakh oilfield in East Siberia for USD 1.12 billion and another 23.9 per cent in Vankor oilfield for USD 2.02 billion.

    The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the consortium buying 29.9 per cent stake in Taas-Yuryakh Neftegazodobycha LLC, which holds and operates two licences for the Srednebotuobinskoye oil and gas condensate field, one of the largest in the East Siberia.

    The stake is being acquired from LLC RN-Razvedka I Dobycha (RN Upstream), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rosneft, Russian state firm, officials said.

    The licence for the central block is valid till 2041 and the northern block till 2032.

    The consortium will buy another 23.9 per cent in JSC Vankorneft, a subsidiary of Rosneft, which holds two licences for the Vankor oil fields in East Siberia valid till 2112.

    Officials said the Vankor asset has been valued at USD 8.45 billion as on May 31, 2015 on zero debt and working capital basis for arriving at the acquisition price.

    This is the same value at which ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), bought 15 per cent stake in Vankor in December 2015. That deal closed on May 31 this year and the company has signed up for buying another 11 per cent in the same field.

    Taas currently produces about 21,000 barrels per day of oil, and a peak of 1,00,000 bpd is expected by 2021. Vankor, on the other hand, is past its peak, which was 161 million barrels (22 million tonnes) in 2014 and 2015. It currently produces 154 million barrels.

    Rosneft had last year sold 20 per cent stake in Taas to BP of UK for USD 750 million. The Russian firm will hold 50.1 per cent stake in the project after the deal.  Benoit Pouliot Womens Jersey

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