ONGC eyes Canadian oil sand assets of ConocoPhillips: report

State-owned energy explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), is considering to bid for part of ConocoPhillips' Canadian oil sand assets worth around $5 billion, Reuters today reported, citing a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

The move comes after the Mumbai-based oil major's overseas arm OVL in March decided not to bid for UK-listed Mozambique-focused oil and gas explorer Cove Energy.

Houston-based ConocoPhillips had targeted divesting non-core assets worth $15 billion to $20 billion by the end of 2012 in order to fund share repurchases and position itself for future growth.

The company has already sold assets worth around $12 billion during 2010 and 2011, and received $9.5 billion by selling its shares in Lukoil, taking its total divestures to over $22 billion.

Its last sale was made in February, when it agreed to sell its Vietnam assets to French oil and natural gas company Perenco SA, for $1.29 billion.

Early this year, ConocoPhillips had announced plans to sell 50 per cent of its stake in six Alberta properties spread over 715,000 acres that produce 12,000 barrels of oil a day from an estimated 30 billion barrels of bitumen.

The Alberta assets comprise of the Surmont project, Thornbury, Clyden, Saleski, Crow Lake and McMillan Lake.