ONGC again loses bid for Iraqi oilfield to Chinese-led group

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation lost its bid to develop Iraq's giant Halfaya oilfield to a consortium led by a China National Petroleum Corporation. This is the second time that the state-run oil explorer is losing a bid to CNPC in Iraq.

The CNPC-Petronas-Total alliance outbid a consortium of ONGC Videsh, Oil India Ltd and Turkish Petroleum Corp (TPAO) for the giant Halfaya field, quoting lower than the $1.76 per barrel that the OVL partners sought.

OVL and partners had sought a higher fee as they planned to boost production in the third largest field on offer in Iraq's second post-war bid round to 550,000 barrels per day.

CNPC, Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and Total SA, on the other hand, offered to boost production to 535,000 bpd from current 3,000 bpd at a cost of $1.40 a barrel. The Halfaya oilfield has estimated reserves of 4.1 billion barrels of oil.

Norway's Statoil ASA and Russia's OAO Lukoil also made a bid that was better than OVL-led group by offering to produce 600,000 bpd from the Halfaya oil field at an average $1.53 a barrel.

China's CNPC holds 50 per cent stake in the winning consortium while Malayasia's Petronas and France's Total hold 25 per cent each.