Essar Energy in talks to buy oil, gas assets of global oil majors

Essar Energy plc, the UK arm of Mumbai-headquartered Essar Group, is in talks with global oil majors including Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell and ConocoPhilips to acquire oil and gas assets in Africa, Latin America and Australia, The Economic Times today reported, citing an unnamed senior executive who is involved in the company's strategy.

"We are in active discussions with Exxon, Chevron, Shell and ConocoPhilips and are keen to partner in the development of their oil and gas blocks, the official in the company's international business development team was quoted as saying.

"Both from a valuation and production point of view these assets are quite attractive as we are keen to invest primarily in developed and producing assets," the official added.

In August 2011 London-listed Essar Energy, controlled by Mumbai-based billionaire brothers Shashi and Ravi Ruia, had acquired Stanlow oil refinery from Shell UK for $1.3 billion. Essar paid $350 million for the refinery, near Ellesmere Port, and $780 million for the crude oil and other stock at the site.

Essar Energy, which already holds assets in Africa and Europe, had in May 2010, raised $1.8 billion through an initial public offering, in a bid to fund the company's growth plans.

Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell and ConocoPhilips have recently been selling their non-core assets as part of restructuring and cutting costs.