ONGC Videsh, Hindujas plan joint bid for oil and gas assets in Iran

Mumbai: ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Ltd (ONGC), will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Hinduja Group for acquiring oil assets overseas.

OVL board has approved the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Hindujas for jointly acquiring overseas oil assets, mainly in Iran.

"The board has cleared the signing of an MoU with Hindujas for Iran. Now we will talk to the Iranian authorities on the projects. Based on the opportunities we will form a project specific joint venture or a SPV," an OVL official said.

He, however, declined to say whether OVL would opt for a joint venture with the Hindujas or set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the purpose.

ONGC and the Hinduja Group are interested in jointly developing Iranian assets. It will be a collaborative approach to explore possibilities of developing two fields in that country, sources said.

The two are currently exploring joint opportunities in Iran''s Azadegan oil field and the South Pars Phase 12 gas field. The equity structure and investment decision will be finalised after buying stakes in the two blocks.

Azadegan is one of the biggest oil fields discovered in the past 30 years and has reserves estimated at 33 billion barrels. The South Pars gas field, the world''s largest onshore field, holds nearly 50 per cent of Iran''s gas resources.

Reports, meanwhile, said both OVL and the Hindujas were in talks to form a partnership with a subsidiary of National Iranian Oil Co for a stake in the two fields.