Bidding for Block 4 in Qatar with IOC and Oil India

Vol 6, PW 8 (19 Jun 02) Exploration & Production

TO ITS CREDIT OVL is not restricting its overseas oil equity opportunities to rogue states.

We learn for example that it has teamed up with Oil India and Indian Oil to submit a joint bid for offshore exploration Block 4 in Qatar. But why is it bidding for a block when it is up against so many majors A source tells this report OVL submitted its final technical and commercial bid on 2nd June.

"About 20 companies visited the dataroom and most put in bids." Among them ChevronTexaco, BP, Occidental Petroleum and TotalFinaElf. Before bidding OVL (40%), Oil India (20%) and IOC (40%) signed a MoU detailing the cost sharing arrangement and equity distribution of their partnership if successful.

OVL will be operator in line with Shastri Bhawan guidelines. Long term IOC hopes that participation in this bidding process will open up other opportunities in the Middle East's oil and gas sector.

Credit for identifying the opportunity goes to IOC's local agent in Qatar who informed head office of moves to tender Block 4. Soon after IOC initiated contact with OVL and OIL and between 11th and 14th February a joint delegation went to Qatar Petroleum's office in Doha to make a preliminary evaluation and hear a presentation.

"We found the block promising and decided to purchase the data package." In March the partners spent $60,000 on data, which they brought back to Dehra Dun for analysis. This data now forms the basis of a five-year work programme submitted with the bid documents.