Libya partner for IOC and Oil India

Vol 11, PW 11 (04 Oct 07) News in Brief

Indian Oil and Oil India have begun the search for a partner so they can bid in the present Libyan licensing round.

In our last issue we reported how Libyan authorities had qualified the two Indian state-owned companies as â€کinvestors’ but not â€کoperators’. To qualify, they need to form an alliance with a company pre-qualified as â€کoperator’.

“Oil India and IOC have separately written to pre-qualified â€کoperators’,â€‌ says a source. “They have not written to big multinationals like BG, BP, Shell or Exxon but to â€کmid-sized’ companies.

â€‌ IOC has written to two or three companies and Oil India is in talks with three or four companies. “Both (OIL-IOC) are making efforts to find a partner before November 30,â€‌ we hear.

“Otherwise they will face exclusion.â€‌ One industry observer doubts either IOC or Oil India will find a partner.

If so, they have the option of joining ONGC Videsh, which was pre-qualified to bid as â€کoperator’. Libya is offering 41 blocks - 20 offshore and 21 onshore.