ONGC completes acquisition of Imperial Energy

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has successfully completed its 1.3 billion pound ($1.9 billion) acquisition of UK's Imperial Energy with about 96 per cent of the firm's shareholders accepting its 12.50 pounds a share offer.

Nearly 96 per cent of Imperial Energy stakeholders having accepted ONGC Videsh's (OVL) bid for the Russia focused Imperial Energy as the deadline ended by 1 pm London time.

OVL, the overseas arm of state explorer, needed only 90 per cent shareholders to approve its deal, which will result in delisting of Imperial Energy. OVL had received a spate of offers from Imperial shareholders in the past few days.

The OVL deal values Imperial Energy at about £1.3 billion ($1.9 billion), a price now being considered as high with crude prices touching the bottoms.

ONGC is buying Imperial for its potential growth. It has probable and possible reserves of 3.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent and is planning to increase production to 80,000 barrels per day by 2011.

This equates to 4 million tonnes a year, compared with ONGC's total production last quarter of 6.41 million tonnes.

Meanwhile, the Indian state-owned oil and gas explorer has been asked by the Venezuelan government to be ready for a reduction in output at its joint venture San Cristobal oilfield in line with OPEC recommendations.

While it is not known how much the cut will be, the Venezuelan government will issue a detailed notice within a week, as the OPEC member enforces its share of the 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) output cut agreed two weeks ago.