ONGC buys two off-Azerbaijan oilfields from Hess Corp

ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas investment arm of India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp, has completed the acquisition of two oilfields in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea from the US-based Hess Corp.

Each field will entitle ONGC Videsh to one million tonnes of oil a year, according to Sudhir Vasudeva, chairman of state-owned ONGC as well as its refining counterpart Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL).

Vasudeva told newspersons in the southern port city of Mangalore on Friday that ONGC Videsh has also purchased a 2.36-per cent interest in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.

The acquisition of the stake in the Azerbaijan oilfield cost ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) $1 billion.

Further, OVL will also take up an 8.42-per cent stake in US-based Conoco Phillips in the Caspian region of Kazakhstan. Seven partners in this field have waived their first right of refusal, Vasudeva said.

The stake acquisition will entitle OVL to an initial production capacity of 1 million tonne a year. This can be ramped up to 1.6 million tonnes.

In Mangalore to celebrate 10 years of ONGC's acquisition of MRPL, Vasudeva further said MRPL aims to reach crude oil processing capacity of 18 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) during the current Five-Year Plan. At present, MRPL can process 15 MTPA of crude oil.

He said MRPL also plans to diversify into petrochemicals. A polypropylene plant is getting ready in the third phase expansion of MRPL.

Vasudeva further said a joint venture company, to be called ONGC-Mangalore Petrochemicals Ltd, is expected to commission an 'aromatic' plant by September.