ONGC waiting for BHP response

Vol 17, PW 11 (16 Jan 14) News in Brief

Last month (December) ONGC asked BHP Billiton for access to data on nine western offshore blocks that it wants to quit so it can decide whether to farm-in.

“We have asked BHP for the data to be made available here in India,” says a senior ONGC source. “Let’s see the data first then we can decide.

We haven't yet heard from BHP, presumably because their people were away for the Christmas and New Year break.” ONGC and BHP signed a confidentiality agreement in December as a prelude to data viewing.

Oil minister Veerappa Moily is trying his best to get BHP to reverse its October decision to relinquish nine of its 10 western offshore India blocks, where work could not begin due to defence ministry delays. Apparently the Indian navy has now cleared eight of the nine blocks.

The ministry wants ONGC to ‘farm-in’ to these blocks in a bid to get BHP to change its mind.