Gail, ONGC eye ExxonMobil's part stake in Kashagan oil field for $5 bn

State-owned Gail India Ltd, India's biggest gas transportation company, is planning to buy a part of Exxon Mobil's stake in Kazakhstan's Kashagan oil field.

The Hindustan Times reported that a consortium of India's state-run companies Gail and Oil & Natural Gas Corp, a unit ONGC Videsh Ltd are seeking to buy an 8.4-per cent stake of the 16.8 per cent that ExxonMobil holds in Kashagan oil field, for about $5 billion (Rs22,500 crore).

"We are interested; we are working on it," said B C Tripathi, chairman of the company. "Discussions are on with Exxon Mobil Kazakhstan Inc, and a final call on our participation and investment will be taken by the cabinet," the paper cited a consortium's official as saying.

Discovered in July 2000 Kashagan oil field in the Caspian Sea has been described as the largest field found in the past 30 years, the largest outside the Middle East, which will cost around $136 billion to develop.

The field is estimated to hold around 41 billion barrels of oil and 18 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The field is being developed by joint operating company North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC), which has a group of partners including Shell, Exxon Mobil, Total, ConocoPhilips, Kazakh state-run oil company KazMunaiGas, INPEX and AgipKCO (Eni).