India may purchase Russian oil fields and companies: Deora

New Delhi: Indian state-owned energy giant, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, is considering purchase of Russian oil fields and companies, according to minister for petroleum and natural gas, Murli Deora.

According to Indian oil industry sources, the ONGC could buy either existing oil companies or new oil fields in Russia and new prospects could be in the Tomsk Region as well as in Russia's north.

In September, Deora visited Tomsk, where he held talks with governor Viktor Kress on participation of Indian oil companies in upcoming oil and gas projects in Russia.

"The governor invited us to take part in the development of new [oil] fields, and we will consider his offer," he said.

ONGC is the owner, via subsidiary ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL), of British oil company Imperial Energy, which holds production licenses for fields in west Siberia's Tomsk Region.

The Tomsk Region is rich in natural resources, particularly oil, natural gas, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, peat, and underground waters. Oil extraction and lumbering are the major business of the region's joint ventures.