Ukraineآ’s NaftoGaz wants to bid in NELP-VI round

Vol 9, PW 26 (20 Apr 06) Exploration & Production

Ukraines state-owned oil and gas explorer NaftoGaz has decided to bid in the NELP-VI licensing round through its Indian arm NaftoGaz India Pvt Ltd, which has an office in Delhi.

This is the first time NaftoGaz is entering the Indian upstream sector and the company is believed to be in discussions with several state-owned oil and gas companies with whom it would like to submit joint bids. Like so many new entrants, NaftoGaz would ideally like to be operator and is well qualified to assume the role under new bidding criteria announced by the oil ministry: over the past 15 years NaftoGaz has gained experience operating some 200 onland and shallow offshore blocks in Ukraine, which borders the Black Sea.

A source reveals that if discussions with Indian state-owned companies do not yield results, the company will bid alone. But if it is unsuccessful in finding a partner, NaftoGaz will bid only for onland blocks.

If, however, an agreement results from talks with Indian state-owned companies, NaftoGaz will bid for onland as well as shallow offshore blocks. NaftoGaz is also interested in deepwater blocks but admits little experience.

For this, it is believed to be in talks with several (undisclosed) companies in Norway. But again, if these talks prove unsuccessful, NaftoGaz will not bid for any deepwater blocks.

Current plans by NaftoGaz are to submit bids for at least five of the 55 blocks on offer under NELP-VI. We hear NaftoGaz is planning to book time for a data room visit at the offices of the DGH in Delhi sometime next month (May).

Any bids under NELP-VI will be in the name of the Indian subsidiary NaftoGaz India Pvt Ltd - backed by technical and financial support from Ukraine. Until now the only exposure NaftoGaz has in India is as a service provider.