ONGC, Petrobas discuss joint bidding

Mumbai: ONGC has initiated talks with its Brazilian counterpart, Petrobras, to bid jointly for overseas oil and gas blocks.

The two state run oil exploration firms are partners in a Brazilian block and are also negotiating a swap deal that would give equity ownership in each other''s blocks in India and in Brazil. An ONGC technical team is already in Brazil to examine data on Petrobras'' blocks.

According to D K Pande, exploration director, ONGC, the state exploration company already has some acreage in Brazil and is looking for equity oil abroad.

Pande said the two state-run explorers may bid together for oil and gas blocks in the next auction of exploratory rights by the government and could even venture in to Australia.

Pande said the two state run firms had several synergies and pointed out that Petrobas was a pioneer in deepwater development, an area of interest to India, which had made a deepwater discovery in the Krishna Godavari basin in the East Coast that is estimated held up to 22 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The company has been seeking partnership from firms who have expertise in development of deepwater blocks.