Premier, Essar ready to initial PSC for Ratna

Vol 5, PW 3 (28 Mar 01) Exploration & Production

Essar Oil and its UK partner Premier Oil will most likely "initial" and "authenticate" a Production Sharing Contract for the Ratna and R Series of oilfields "anytime after 9th April".

This report learns Premier Oil sent a letter to the oil ministry indicating its readiness to "initial" the contract towards the end of last week. This week a letter followed from Essar, confirming that it too is ready and willing to initial after 9th April.

It's not clear if ONGC - which has a 40% stake in the venture - has yet indicated its willingness to sign but a source close to talks tells Petrowatch that ONGC "will do what the ministry tells it to do." One ministry official recently surprised this report with a question about relations between Essar and Premier. "Is everything OK between them We hear they are not in agreement." Really All we know is that last year relations did drop to an all-time low when Premier demanded an independent 3rd party audit of equipment at Ratna, but that they have now improved.

Whether this is enough for a PSC..

.Who knows This ill-fated contract has been in limbo since its award in 1996 after the Second Invitation of Bids for the Development of Discovered Oil and Gas Fields', which closed in March 1994.