ONGC Videsh to invest $450 million in Venezuelan joint venture

Mumbai: ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India (ONGC), will invest around $450 million over the next three years in oil and gas exploration in Venezuela, petroleum minister Murli Deora said.

OVL is planning a joint venture with Venezuela's national oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) to operate the San Cristobal oil block, Deora said.
OVL has  acquired a 40 per cent stake in the San Cristabel oil block, located in the Orinoco belt, in Venezuela, with estimated reserves of around 250-million tonnes, he said.

OVL and a subsidiary of PDVSA will form a joint venture to operate the San Cristobal area and production is expected to start in about three years' time.

Deora is leaving for Venezuela tomorrow to sign an agreement to this effect.Deora also said Indian officials would meet their counterparts from Pakistan and Iran later this month to resolve certain issues raised by Pakistan on the proposed $7 billion India-Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline.

The government is planning to spend $300 billion over the next 5-7 years on exploration and production of oil, petroleum secretary MS Srinivasan said.

India and Turkmenistan, meanwhile, signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of oil and natural gas.NNThe MoU was signed by minister of state for external affairs E Ahamed and Turkmenistan's deputy premier and minister for oil and gas, T Tagiev.