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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 08:32, September 21, 2005
India's oil firm acquires stakes in Cuban offshore blocks
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ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), has made its maiden foray in Cuba, as it acquired 30 percent stake in five offshore blocks in Cuba in partnership with Spain's Repsol- YPF recently.

According to a statement issued Tuesday, "OVL entered into an agreement Sept. 15 with Repsol-YPF of Spain to acquire 30 percent participating interest in the deep water exploration blocks 25-29, 36 and part of block 35 in the Republic of Cuba."

The acquisition (of stake) will be completed after formalization of the contract by the Cuban government, the statement added.

Besides OVL's 30 percent stake in the blocks, Repsol-YPF with 40 percent stake is the operator and the third partner is Norway's Norsk Hydro with remaining 30 percent stake.

"The blocks have a good potential and this is especially significant for OVL as it would open door for other opportunities in the Latin American hydrocarbon sectors," said Subir Raha, OVL chairman.

With this acquisition, OVL now claims to have presence in 13 countries.

Spread over nearly 12,000 sq km in the exclusive economic zone of Cuba, the exploration blocks are estimated to have potential reserves in excess of 4 billion barrels of oil and oil equivalent gas (O+OEG).

"One exploratory well drilled in one of these blocks has indicated the presence of hydrocarbons," the official statement said.

Source: Xinhua

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