ONGC, Kuwaiti oil firms to expand cooperation

Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has offered Kuwaiti National Petroleum Company (KNPC) a stake in its Rs19,500-crore mega petrochemical project in Gujarat, even as Kuwait has expressed a desire for a joint bid in the forthcoming round of India's auction of new exploration areas under NELP.

Kuwaiti will also consider investment in petrochemicals and crude oil storage facilities in India to enhance cooperation between the two countries in the oil sector.

"We discussed strategic partnership of Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) in ONGC Petro-additions Ltd," ONGC chairman and managing director R S Sharma said after delegation level talks between visiting Kuwaiti oil minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Abdullah al-Sabah and petroleum minister Murli Deora.

ONGC has 26 per cent stake in OPaL, gas utility GAIL 19 per cent and Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GPSC) 5 per cent. Allocation of the remaining 50 per cent to a strategic investor and financial institutions are yet to be decided.

The project is targeted for completion in early 2013.

Petroleum minister Mulri Deora, at a meeting with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Ahamad Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah today, said the two countries would enhance cooperation in the oil sector.