Prize Petroleum looking at North Se

Vol 6, PW 7 (05 Jun 02) News in Brief

Hindustan Petroleum promoted Prize Petroleum has no plans to bid in NELP-III, either on its own or in partnership with anyone.

"We are a very small company," the company tells us. "NELP-III is meant for the big boys." Surprisingly, Prize tells us it is looking to invest in some North Sea fields.

"We are in talks with some companies but at a very preliminary stage." Prize is willing to invest a maximum of $100m, maybe 20% more, if it can find "a good buy" and if it canget at least 15% return. So far Prize has no upstream assets.

A proposal to farm-in with Oil India in Philippines block SC14C came to nought. So did its proposal to buy Enron's stake in Panna-Mukta-Tapti.

Hindustan Petroleum has 50% equity in Prize, the rest is held by financial institutions.