DK Saraf cuddles up to new Russian oil minister

Vol 16, PW 3 (23 Aug 12) People & Policy

Worried by Rosneft silence over a proposed Arctic partnership, OVL has begun courting Russian cabinet minister Sergei Donskoi.

Managing director DK Sarraf wrote to Donskoi on August 7, congratulating him on his May 21 appointment as Russian natural resources and environment minister. “We have always known you are a supporter of Indo-Russian cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector,” writes Sarraf.

“We are sure under your guidance co-operation with Russia will grow.” In May, OVL wrote to Rosneft president Eduard Khudainatov for a stake in untapped Arctic offshore oil and gas acreage, believed to contain 25% of the world's hydrocarbon reserves.

But Khudainatov hasn’t bothered to reply. Some believe this is a sign of Russia’s disappointment with the pathetic levels of production recorded at Siberian fields operated by OVL-subsidiary Imperial Energy.

Sarraf’s letter to Donskoi highlights OVL's commitment. “OVL is engaged in two projects in Russia (Sakhalin-1 and Imperial),” he writes.

“We are willing to enlarge our presence and infuse sizeable investments into your growing oil and gas sector.” OVL, he adds, is ready to partner any E&P companies suggested by the Russian government.

“We propose to form a JV with a designated oil and gas company (sic),” he says. “The JV would take part in the entire hydrocarbon business value chain, from exploration and production in Russia to further transport to India.

” Sarraf concludes by requesting an appointment with Donskoi in Moscow to discuss further. Indian foreign minister SM Krishna met Russian deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin in Delhi in July to discuss OVL’s bid for up to 33% at Rosneft-operated Arctic fields.

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