In Mozambique, Indian State exploration firms ONGC and Oil India (OIL) have signed a $2.48-billion deal to acquire 10 per cent stake from Videocon in a giant gas project in the African country. The acquisition deal may help ship an estimated 6 million tonne a year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to India. ONGC Videsh (OVL), the overseas arm of the State explorer, said the deal marks its entry into a world-class project with significant upside potential, and would help it achieve long-term production targets of 20 million tonne of oil equivalent by 2018 and 60 million tonne by 2030.
OVL Chairman Sudhir Vasudeva said that considering the growing importance of natural gas in the primary energy basket, the acquisition is a significant step by OVL/ONGC group towards the energy security of India. This is ONGC's third significant global acquisition since it bought Hess Corp's 2.7 per cent stake in Azerbaijan's largest oil field and an associated pipeline for $1 billion.
It also signed a deal to buy ConocoPhillips's 8.4 per cent stake in Kazakhstan's Kashagan project for $5 billion last November, but the deal is facing obstacles from China. Oil India officials said gas from the project would be shipped to India. In March this year, Videocon and US-based Anadarko Petroleum, (the operator of the block) had announced that they were jointly putting their 10 per cent stake up for sale.