New Delhi: With an aim to boost output, the government has asked state-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp to consider selling a 60 percent stake in its two major oil and gas fields to private companies.
The petroleum ministry has asked the state-run explorer for considering the sale to private companies, according to the official sources of Reuters.
As the world’s third-biggest oil consumer and importer, India is looking to monetise its oil and gas reserves and push ONGC to raise its production.
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India is highly dependent on foreign oil and the demand has gradually risen to more than 80 percent as its local oil and gas output has been stagnating for years amid rising local refining capacity.
ONGC’s Mumbai High and Bassein and Satellite oil and gas fields offshore western India account for a major chunk of its local output. However, the ministry’s appeal on farming out a majority stake to private companies was not a binding order for the state-run ONGC, according to the source of the news agency.
India failed in drawing interest from global oil majors in licensing rounds since 1990 despite overhauling its exploration policy to include steps such as allowing state-run companies to rope in private firms to raise output and auction off some of their old fields. Oil secretary Tarun Kapoor had earlier said global oil major ExxonMobil Corp was looking to buy a stake in some of the local deepwater fields of ONGC on the east coast.
He also said that India wants to attract global oil majors to boost the nation’s oil and gas output.
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