Premier Oil unlikely target for ONGC-Mittal

Vol 10, PW 16 (30 Nov 06) News in Brief

Premier Oil would be an unlikely acquisition target for any Indian explorer.

Why would anyone from India buy a company that has one third of its production in Pakistan argues an observer with links to Premier. If you are an Indian company what are you going to do with assets in Pakistan Premier has four good gasfields there.

You would have to sell them immediately. Premier produces on average 34,000 boed globally and also has small stakes in five North Sea fields.

Why would ONGC-Mittal want anything in the North Sea he adds. They have blocks in Nigeria and should be focusing on West Africa.

Last week, Premier shares shot up on speculation that ONGC-Mittal, a joint venture between ONGC and steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, is set to make a takeover bid. This is not how ONGC operates, we hear.

ONGC prefers to acquire individual blocks or fields, not companies. After last weeks price surge, Premiers market cap today stands at approximately $2bn.

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