BG Group in talks for stake in ONGC's east coast gas block

The Indian subsidiary of BG Group Plc, former British gas, is in talks to acquire a stake in the gas exploration assets of state-run Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) in eastern India.

"We had given a proposal to ONGC a while back. The ball is in their court," Walter Simpson, president and MD of BG India, told reporters on the sidelines of an industry conference.

The Reading-based $17-billion company is keen to acquire a stake in ONGC's gas block off the country's east coast in the Krishna Godavari basin in eastern India, where Reliance Industries has found the country's largest natural gas reserves.

BG Group already is a partner with ONDC in four projects, the Panna/Mukta and Tapti project where BG holds a 30 per cent stake and ONGC 45 per cent, in the Krishna Godavari OSN-2004 with 45 per cent stake and ONGC 55 per cent, in the MN-DWN-2002/2 with BG holding 25 per cent and ONGC 75 per cent and in the KG-DWN-2009/1 with BG holding 30 per cent and ONGC 45 per cent.

BG Group also holds a 65.12 per cent controlling stake in Gujarat Gas Company Ltd and a 49.75 per cent stake in Mahanagar Gas Ltd.

ONGC Chairman A K Hazarika had said in late June that talks were continuing with BG Group and Italian oil major Eni for the sale of up to 30 per cent in the block off India's east coast.