ONGC Videsh to conclude Imperial deal in 4-5 weeks: Deora

Mumbai: ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of state-run explorer ONGC, is expected to conclude the acquisition of UK-listed Imperial Energy in 4-5 weeks, petroleum minister Murli Deora said.

''The deal is subject to Russian government approval and we are hopeful they will help us," Deora said.

OVL is now awaiting approval from Kremlin to take over the company, which has assets in Tomsk region of the western Siberia in Russia. Deora said he was hopeful of getting Russian approval in four to five weeks.

OVL had last month won approval of Imperial Energy board for its 1.42 billion pounds bid  for the Russia-based company.

Deora has already spoken to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev about Imperial acquisition on the sidelines of a Shangai Cooperation Organisation meet. If Kremlin approves, Imperial would be biggest overseas acquisition for OVL.

The Kremlin may ask OVL to sell part of the Imperial stake to a Russian state oil group such as Rosneft, which OVL is open to.

Imperial Energy will give OVL, which already has a 20 per cent stake in Sakhalin-1 project in Far East Russia, access to Siberia, an area believed to hold huge hydrocarbon deposits.