Murli Deora to pitch for selling BP's Vietnam gas stake to ONGC

Union minister of petroleum and natural gas Murli Deora will pitch for Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's (ONGC) bid for BP's stake in the $1.3 billion Nam Con Son offshore gas project in Vietnam, when the top executives of the British oil giant arrive in India next week.

Deora will talk to BP's chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, and newly appointed chief executive, Robert Dudley, during their visit to India next week into selling its 35 per cent stake in Block 6.1 in the Nam Con Son basin, off Vietnam's southeast coast to ONGC.

ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) the overseas arm of 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.

In July 2010, Deora had visited Hanoi and had proposed that ONGC and PetroVietnam make a joint bid for BP's stake in the offshore gas field.

ONGC was assigned Block 06.1, on 19 May 1988, on a nomination basis following government-to-government interactions. This block in Vietnam also happens to be the first equity oil and gas project of OVL.