Bloomberg News

Rosneft May Buy Stake in Oil & Natural Gas LNG Plant

February 13, 2008

OAO Rosneft (ROSN), Russia's largest crude oil producer, may buy a stake in a liquefied natural gas processing plant planned by India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC), a senior Russian ministry official said.

Rosneft may buy a stake in the LNG terminal in the southern Indian city of Mangalore, Sergey Mikhaylov, director at Russia's Ministry of Industry and Energy, said at a conference in New Delhi today. India should also consider investing in oil and gas projects in Siberia and Russia's far east, he said.

``India has investments in Sakhalin-1. That is not sufficient to meet the country's rising energy demand,'' Mikhaylov said. ``More opportunities to participate in oil exploration in Siberia and the far east are coming up.''

India, Asia's third-largest economy, is looking to invest in oil projects in Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran and Africa to secure the nation's oil requirements. State-run Oil & Natural Gas, India's largest fuel explorer, has earmarked 760 billion rupees ($19 billion) until 2012 for its energy hunt, Chairman R.S. Sharma said on Sept. 19.

``We are finalizing plans for the development of Russia's far east region,'' Mikhaylov said. As many as 12 new areas may be taken up for development, he said.

Oil & Natural Gas owns a 20 percent stake in the Sakhalin-1 project in Russia. Exxon Mobil (XOM:US) Corp. owns 30 percent of the venture, which began pumping oil in 2005 and had production of 250,000 barrels a day in February 2007. SODECO of Japan owns 30 percent and OAO Rosneft has 20 percent.

Oil & Natural plans to import LNG from Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates through a terminal it may build in Mangalore, Chairman Sharma said on Nov. 8, 2006. The company will own 51 percent of the venture, Sharma said.

Mikhaylov said Russian companies are keen on investing in India's oil and gas exploration areas. India has eased rules and invited bids for 57 areas under the current round of auction.

To contact the reporter on this story: Manash Goswami in New Delhi at mgoswami@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net.


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