ONGC out, BP to transfer Vietnam oil stake to TNK-BP

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's plan to hike its stake in the $1.3-billion Nam Con Son offshore gas project in Vietnam have come to nought as British oil giant BP yesterday said that it may sell its 35-per cent stake to its affiliate TNK-BP, a 50-50 joint venture between BP and a group of Russian billionaires.

Vietnam gas Last week, union minister of petroleum and natural gas Murli Deora had said that he would pitch for ONGC's bid for BP's stake in Block 6.1 in the Nam Con Son basin off offshore of Ho Chi Minh City when BP's chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, and newly appointed chief executive, Robert Dudley visited India this week (See: Murli Deora to pitch for selling BP's Vietnam gas stake to ONGC). 

It was at a dinner hosted yesterday by Deora where Dudley revealed BP's plans of not selling its stake to an outside party but transfer the asset to one of its affiliates.

When questioned by reporters as to whether that affiliate could be TNK-BP, Dudley said that it was a possibility.

According to analysts, BP's assets for sale in Vietnam, which comprises stakes in Block 06.1, the Nam Con Son pipeline and the Phu My power generation project, is worth around $1 billion.

What Dudley did not reveal was that BP had already decided early last month to sell its stake in Nam Con Son offshore gas project to TNK-BP.