ONGC eyeing Exxon stake in Angola oilfield
01 November 2010
Indian state-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp is examining a proposal to buy US energy major Exxon Mobil's (XOM.N) holding in an oil block in Angola.
"The proposal has come to us. We keep getting such proposals and we are examining it," said R S. Butola managing director of ONGC Videsh, the overseas investment arm of ONGC. "Definitely, we are interested."
Butola said the talks were at initial stages and declined to comment on the valuation of the deal, though reports put it at $2 billion.
Analysts said the Angolan field stake buy would be a welcome acquisition for India, which has been lagging China in the hunt for natural resources as both countries seek to feed their fast economic growth.
Global petroleum firms Exxon Mobil and Total want to exit from Block 31 in Angola, Angolan Oil Minister Jose Botelho de Vasconcelos said separately at an energy conference in the Indian capital. He did not give any reason for the planned stake sale by Exxon and Total.
"In Block 31, some of the companies are leaving the block. Our state oil company Sonangol has the responsibility to find other partners," the minister said, without commenting on the likely deal size.