ONGC consortium among final three for stake in ConocoPhillips Canadian assets: report

A consortium led by oil giant Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has emerged as one of the three final bidders for ConocoPhillips's stake in Canadian oil sand assets, Reuters today reported, citing a source at one of the Indian bidders.

The consortium comprising ONGC, Oil India (OIL) and Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) ha placed a binding offer for part of ConocoPhillips' Canadian oil sand assets worth around $5 billion.

Other bidders could be from China, Europe and Southeast Asia, but it is unclear whether any firms from these regions have formally submitted bids.

But ONGC's plans to bid had hit a roadblock because of the public sector oil giant's investments in Sudan and Iran, against both of which the US has imposed trade sanctions.

Sudhir Vasudeva, chairman of ONGC had last month said, "We find it difficult to close energy deals in the US because of our investments in countries that have sanctions imposed by the US."

"We have taken a legal opinion that warns of forfeitures of our proposed investments to acquire energy assets in the US because of our interests in countries with human rights violations," another senior ONGC official had said, adding that this will put billions of dollars at risk.