Japan's Inpex buys 26% stake in ONGC's KG basin block

Japan's Inpex buys 26% stake in ONGC's KG basin block New Delhi: Japan's largest oil firm Inpex Corp has acquired 26 percent stake in Oil and Natural Gas Corp's (ONGC) Krishna Godavari basin deepsea block, the Indian firm said Monday.

"ONGC and Inpex have entered into a strategic partnership for exploration of hydrocarbons in one of the acreages in KG basin," the state-owned firm said in a statement here.
Inpex acquired 26 percent interest in ONGC's KG-DWN- 2004/6 block located in deepwaters of KG Basin in the Bay of Bengal. No financial details of the transaction were however provided.

"Both companies have Monday inked a farm-out agreement at ONGC's corporate head-quarters in New Delhi," the ONGC statement said.

ONGC will continue as the operator of the block with a 34 percent stake. Other partners in the block include state gas utility GAIL India Ltd, Gujarat State Petroleum Corp Ltd (GPSC), Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) with 10 percent stake each.

Boards of ONGC and Inpex have already approved the proposal, it said.

The block KG-DWN-2004/6, awarded to an ONGC-led consortium under the sixth round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) in 2007, is located some 300 km off the Andhra Pradesh coast.

It covers an area of 10,907 sq km and sits at water depth of approximately 3,000 meters.

"ONGC has completed most of the phase-I exploration programme in the block except drilling of one well which is to be taken up," the company said.

The tie-up comes on the heels of ONGC's recent alliances this year with global majors like US-based ConocoPhillips, China's CNPC and Colombia's Ecopetrol SA.

The alliance with Inpex "is yet another successful effort in its attempt to collaborate and expand its strategic interests", ONGC added.

PTI