OVL to bid for oil block in Ecuador

Mumbai: ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas investment arm Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, and Ecuador''s Petroecuador will jointly bid for the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tuputini (ITT) oil block in that country, R.S. Butola, managing director of OVL, told reporters in New Delhi.

"The block has recoverable reserves of one billion barrels and in place reserves of 3-5 billion barrels," he added.

OVL, Butola said, had entered into an agreement with state-run Petroecuador to jointly bid for oil blocks in other countries as well.

ONGC, which has assets in Russia, Vietnam and Sudan, has earmarked $25 billion acquisitions even as India looks for new sources to secure energy supplies to its growing economy.

ONGC is keen to increase its presence in Kazakhstan, Nigeria and Sudan while it is looking at new investment opportunities in countries like Ecuador.

Meanwhile, reports said, India is likely to tap Ecuador for crude oil supplies as that country is planning monthly sales of 2 million barrels for the next six months. Ecuador, South America''s fifth largest oil producer, produces around 530,000 barrels of crude per day.