OVL denies BP rumour

Vol 14, PW 2 (15 Jul 10) News in Brief

ONGC Videsh, meanwhile, has described as “baseless rumours” growing speculation that it might be ready to buy BP’s stake at Block 06.1 in the Nam Con Son gas project of Vietnam.

“What you are saying is news to me,” said a senior OVL official, when contacted. “No one has come offering us BP’s stake in this project.

” Over the past few days western press reports, citing banking sources, have singled out OVL as a highly probable suitor for BP’s stake in the producing Lan Tay and Lan Do shallow water fields in Block 06.1, as BP tries to raise money to fund its Gulf of Mexico clean-up. OVL was the original operator at Block 06.1, its first overseas asset, acquired in 1988, and where it struck gas after shooting 6000-lkm and drilling two wells.

But in 1992, the Vietnamese government inexplicably forced OVL to cede operatorship to BP and Statoil, leaving OVL furious and protesting. Today, operator BP (35%) shares the block with OVL (45%) and state-owned PetroVietnam (20%).