Congo offers three exploration blocks to OVL

Vol 8, PW 26 (06 Apr 05) News in Brief

The Democratic Republic of Congo has offered three exploration blocks to India on a nomination basis.

Two of these blocks are in a peaceful area but the third is in a conflict zone held by rebels, an oil ministry source tells this report. Congo sent the proposal to the ministry last month, which in turn forwarded the proposal to ONGC Videsh for further scrutiny and evaluation.

The blocks are located in the Coastal, Central Cuvette and Graben basins of Congo. We are still waiting for details, adds our source.

All we know is that exploration for oil and gas is at a very early stage in this country. So far India has neither declined nor accepted the Congolese offer.

We first need to set up a diplomatic mission in Congo before taking any decision. International oil companies ChevronTexaco, Heritage Oil Corporation and Perenco of Canada are already active in Congo.

ChevronTexaco and Perenco each made a discovery in 2001.