IOC interested in discovered blocks

Vol 11, PW 7 (09 Aug 07) News in Brief

If you want to interest refiner Indian Oil in upstream acreage, don’t waste your time offering exploration blocks.

IOC is under intense government pressure to acquire an upstream arm and â€کbook’ reserves so it can bid in international licensing rounds, but the company is not finding it easy. “Most of the offers that are coming our way are exploration acreage or deepwater blocks,â€‌ a senior IOC source confides to this report.

“We are not interested in them. We are more interested in developed or producing properties but such opportunities come at a very high price.

â€‌ Without disclosing details, IOC confirms that it is examining several options with Oil India, its government-designated partner for overseas acquisitions, but that “nothing concreteâ€‌ is in the air. Till now, IOC has not had much luck.

Niko Resources, Maurel & Prom, Burren Energy and most recently, the Angola assets of Devon Energy are some of the opportunities that have come – and gone.