Niko Resources to invest Rs 700 crore for oil, gas exploration

Ahmedabad: Niko Resources, the Canadian oil and gas major, has declared that its investments in Indian oil and gas exploration projects will exceed Rs 700 crore ($150 million) over the next two years, mainly in Gujarat in the Hazira and Surat gas fields.

The going has been good for Niko Resources: the Reliance Industries-Niko Resources consortium recently reported India's biggest gas finds off the Vizag coast. Moreover, in a separate find, Niko reported the discovery of major reserves of gas as well as oil in an offshore block near Surat, Gujarat.

Say company sources: “India is the focused market for Niko and accounts for 99 per cent of the revenue and 70 per cent of the assets. Among the several projects in the country, Niko is now looking at funding the expansion of the Hazira field and the development of the Surat field at a total cost of over $84 million (Rs 400 crore).“

But Niko has not been able to raise finance locally from banks as it does not have an Indian subsidiary for tax considerations. As a result, Niko has had to approach international funding agencies, which are now pending approval.

Niko Resources has major interests in the state of Gujarat, where it works with Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation in a joint venture. Besides, it has a 10-per cent working interest in the 1.9-million-acre Vizag field (KG-DWN-98/3, Block D6), where Reliance and Niko jointly discovered huge gas reserves.

The block was awarded to the Reliance and Niko consortium under the Indian government's New Exploration Licensing Policy, round one bidding, with Reliance being the operating partner.

Niko Resources operates primarily in five oil and gas fields located in Gujarat. It also operates in Canada and has minor interests in operations in Bangladesh. The company typically begins operations in an area by reworking existing wells, then expanding its business with exploration and development operations.

Niko Resources has proven reserves of 157.0 billion cubic feet of gas and 367,000 barrels of oil and produces an average of 20 million cubic feet of gas and 29 barrels of oil daily.