ONGC, PetroVietnam to jointly bid for BP assets

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Petro Vietnam (PV), the state-owned exploration and production companies of the two countries, will jointly bid for BP?s assets in Vietnam, Union petroleum secretary S Sundareshan told reporters here.

?We met with the prime minister of Vietnam and we had said we will work with Petro Vietnam (to buy BP?s stake). We are discussing with BP and Petro Vietnam,? Sundareshan said, adding that a formal bid was expected in a few weeks
BP plans to sell assets worth up to $30 billion over the next 18 months, including those in Vietnam and Pakistan, primarily in the upstream business, to fund mounting costs from its massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Its assets on the block in Vietnam include a producing gas field (Nam Con Son) where ONGC?s overseas arm, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), already has 45 per cent stake, while PV and BP hold 20 and 35 per cent, respectively. Other assets are a 370-km gas transportation pipeline and a 720-Mw power plant. Gas production from the field is estimated at around 12 million standard cubic meters a day.

A senior ONGC official said since OVL and PV were already partners in the consortium and both were keen on BP?s stake, the two are working out possibilities of a joint bidding. ?The existing partners have a first right of refusal,? he noted.

Source: Business Standard, Delhi, 28 July, 2010
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