ONGC loses Algerian oilfield bid to China's CNOOC-led consortium

Public sector oil explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has lost a bid for an Algerian oilfield to a consortium led by a Chinese oil firm.

ONGC had bid for the Hassi Bir Rekaiz acreage in association with Turkish Petroleum Corp (TPAO) and UAE's Dana Gas in Algeria's latest licensing round, according to sources.

ONGC, however, lost the oilfield to China's National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), which had an association with PTTEP of Thailand.

Spain's Cepsa and Gazprom of Russia were the other bidders for the acreage. The field in the Berkine Basin was relinquished by Australia's BHP Billiton after a 2005 award.

Sources said Algeria awarded three permits in its bid round for 10 exploration areas that closed on 22 December.

Last month, ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of ONGC, had lost a bid for the Halfaya oilfield in Iraq. A consortium of China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), Petronas Cargali Sdn Bhd of Malaysia and France's Total SA, was the successful bidder.

OVL in association with Oil India Ltd and TPAO had bid $1.76 per barrel fee for boosting the Halfaya field output to 550,000 barrels per day while the CNPC-led group 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 4.1 billion barrels of estimated reserves, according to sources.

In June 2009, OVL had lost the Zubair oil field in the first Iraqi round.