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Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com: Oil giants in India gas hunt

From London Evening Standard
By Bill Condie
7 July 2006

OIL and gas majors Royal Dutch Shell, BP, BG Group and Exxon Mobil are among a dozen companies bidding to buy up to 30% of a giant Indian gas field.

Under the deal, the winner will buy a stake and jointly operate the Gujarat State Petroleum Corp field. GSPC has an 80% stake in the field and plans to go public this year.

‘Twelve companies have shown interest to work with us in the KG basin. We are evaluating the offers and will soon finalise the deal,’ said state Energy Minister Saurabh Patel.

Brazil’s Petrobras, Malaysia’s Petronas, Italy’s ENI, Norway’s Statoil, Spain’s Repsol YPF, Canada’s Husky Energy and United Arab Emirates-based Crescent Petroleum have also bid, according to Gujarat state officials. Canada’s Geoglobal Resources and India’s Jubilant Enpro are also stakeholders.

GSPC began exploring for oil and gas six years ago but needs a partner with expertise to develop the field, which has a complex geology. It plans to invest 17bn rupees (£200m) and aims to sell the gas by 2008.

Global oil majors have not yet committed to large investments in India, although Shell is still smarting from its blunder in September 2002 when it sold its entire Rajasthan stake to Scottish explorer Cairn Energy for just £4m.


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