Saturday, December 15, 2007

Indian Oil-Oil India win 3 onshore oil blocks in Libya

Indian Oil-Oil India win 3 onshore oil blocks in Libya

NEW DELHI: The Indian Oil-Oil India combine has won three onshore oil blocks in Libya, adding to the two blocks the consortium already had in the nation that holds Africa's largest oil reserves.

IOC-OIL teamed up with Sonatrach of Algeria to win blocks 1, 2 and 3 in contract area 95/96 in the Ghadames Basin, industry sources said.

In the previous Libyan licensing round, IOC-OIL combine had been disqualified from bidding but in the latest round, they were qualified to bid as investors. The two teamed up with Sonatrach, which will be the operator of the blocks.

IOC-OIL combine had in 2005 won 7,087 sq km Block 86 and 2,710 sq km Block 102/4. Both hold 50 per cent stake in each and OIL is operator for both.

Sources said OIL-IOC and Sonatrach will now sign an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) with the National Oil Corp of Libya. The Algerian national oil company will be the operator of the blocks won in this round.

Libya auctioned exploration permits in the central, western and southern desert, in its first licensing round in potentially gas-rich areas.

Russia's state-run natural gas exporter Gazprom joined Shell, Europe's largest oil company, Algeria's Sonatrach and Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA of Poland in winning four of 12 licenses on offer.

The winners agreed to pay a minimum bonus of 10 million dollars when they signed the contract. Libya's National Oil Corp, which ran the auction, chose the companies that would give it the highest share of production from any field they find.

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