Oil India keen to exploit Mozambique gas bonanza

State-run Oil India Ltd (OIL) is in talks with Mozambique for a stake in giant gas field Rovuma-1 after a proposed energy policy in Mozambique allowed stakeholders to ship out their share of gas. Mozambique vice-minister of mineral resources Abdul Razak Noormahomed was in India last week to attend Petrotech-2012

According to unattributed reports, OIL is also considering downstream investments such as setting up fertiliser and petrochemical plants in the country though a consortium of state oil firms because of the availability of abundant gas. Oil India has reserves and surplus of about Rs12,500 crore.

"We had a very positive discussion with the visiting Mozambique delegates. We may purchase participating interest in the gas field from one or more existing partners," The Economic Times quoted an unnamed OIL official as saying.

The company is also interested in purchasing 10 per cent stake in the giant gas fields held by Indian firms in that country, officials said.

Visiting delegates from Mozambique assured India that they would put in place an investor-friendly gas policy by 2013-14, officials said. The Rovuma-1 gas fields are expected to produce gas by 2017-18.

State-run Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India are eyeing to bid for about a dozen exploration blocks Mozambique is expected to auction in early next year.