Oil India eyes US shale gas acreage

State owned oil major, Oil India Ltd (OIL), is in talks to buy a 25-per cent stake in shale gas acreage owned by a US-listed company in a deal worth around $200 million, the Mint newspaper today reported, citing executives at the state-run refiner.

''The acreage is near Eagle Ford in Texas,'' chairman and managing director N M Borah said.

An unnamed second executive told the newspaper, ''We have identified a listed company and the due diligence is on.''

The move comes after another state-owned company GAIL (India) Ltd last year acquired a 20 per cent stake in Houston-based Carrizo Oil and Gas Inc.'s Eagle Ford shale acreage.

OIL is also in talks with Paris-based Maurel and Prom SA, a medium-sized explorer focused on Africa and Latin America, to buy a stake in its oil blocks in Gabon, in a deal that may be valued at around $2 billion

OIL had in 2010 earmarked a budget of Rs1 billion for potential shale asset acquisitions and was reported to have hired seven investment banks including Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank to identify and advise on potential shale gas assets that could be acquired in the US and Australia.