India looking to buy BP's assets in Vietnam JV

India is interested in acquiring the stake in the Nam Con Son gas project in Vietnam, which British energy giant BP Plc is selling as part of its efforts to raise resources to fund the cost of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, petroleum minister Murli Deora has said.

ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), holds 45 per cent participating interest in the block with BP holding 35 per cent and PetroVietnam, NOC of Vietnam, holding 20 per cent. The consortium of OVL, BP and PV produces about 12-14 MMSCMD per day supporting about 30 per cent of power generation capacity of Vietnam. Given its importance, the government of Vietnam had declared the project as one of the projects of national importance in Vietnam.

The Indian government has approved capital investment of about $378 million by OVL in the project. In addition, ONGC Videsh Limited was awarded two exploration blocks under production sharing contract in June 2006, in the Phu Khanh offshore basin, where exploration work is being conducted.

Petroleum minister Murli DeoraPetroleum minister Murli Deora who is on a visit to Vietnam, said India is looking to buy the BP's stake in the $1.3 billion Nam Con Son gas project.

Deora is in Hanoi on the invitation of his counterpart Vu Huy Hoang, to participate in the East Asia energy ministers' meeting. Besides, bilateral discussions with the Vietnamese minister, Deora is also scheduled to have separate bilateral meetings with other ministers participating in the conference.

Deora, who is leading a high level delegation comprising officials of the petroleum and natural gas ministry and CEOs and chairmen of state-owned oil companies, ONGC, ONGC Videsh Ltd, Indian Oil Corporation and GAIL India Limited, will call on Vietnam's prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung.