OVL raises $930 mn loan to buy additional stake in Russian oilfield
New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) State-run explorer ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL) has raised $930 million from overseas lenders to pay for its purchase of additional 11 per cent stake in Russia’s Vankor oilfield, the Oil and Natural Gas Corp’s (ONGC) overseas arm said on Monday.
With this purchase, OVL’s stake in Vankor oilfield in Siberia goes up to 26 per cent. The Cabinet approved the deal earlier this month.
“We raised a bridge loan of $930 million from overseas lenders to pay for the acquisition cost of 11 per cent stake,” OVL Chief Executive Narendra K. Verma told reporters.
The deal to acquire the additional stake was signed by the OVL with Russia’s state-run Rosneft Oil Company on October 28.
“The acquisition of additional 11 per cent will add about 30 per cent to the existing OVL production at the current rate and approximately 2.2 million tonnes of oil and 1.0 billion cubic metres of gas annually,” he said.
“The completion within a very short period of the binding agreement reflects the speed and cooperation with which both OVL and Rosneft have moved and the support that the investments by Indian companies in Russian oil sector enjoy with the Russian and Indian governments,” he added.
The acquisitions come at a time when oil prices have fallen by more than two third, from over $100 a barrel to under $30 between June 2014 and January 2016. Prices have recovered somewhat this year, rising to around $50 a barrel in recent weeks.
Recently, an Indian consortium of public sector firms comprising Oil India, Indian Oil Corp and Bharat PetroResources acquired 23.9 per cent stake in the Vankor fields at a cost of little over $2 billion, which will give them 6.56 million tonnes of oil.
The daily production from Vankor is around 421,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil on an average and together with the earlier acquisition of 15 per cent, OVL’s share of daily oil production from Vankor will be about 110,000 bpd, the company has said.
Vankor, in Siberia, is Rosneft’s second largest field by output and accounts for four per cent of the total Russian production.