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Press Trust of India: ONGC to acquire Shell’s 33% stake in Egypt

Sunday, May 27, 2007 (New Delhi):

ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), plans to acquire Royal Dutch/Shell’s 33 per cent stake in a deep-sea gas field off Egypt for $160 million and bring the fuel in liquefied form (LNG) to India.

Code-named ‘Project Wonder’, the North East Mediterranean Deepwater Concession in the Egypt Mediterranean Sea, has Shell as operator with 100 per cent stake and is estimated to hold close to 10 Trillion cubic feet of gas reserves.

“We are not paying Shell for buying the stake but have agreed to pay for its share of exploration cost in 2007 of $140 million and a maximum of $40 million for future cost beyond 2007,” an OVL executive said.

OVL will also not contribute toward the past costs ($300 million) incurred by Shell till October 1, 2006.

Development bonus

Besides carrying Shell in the development cost, OVL will also pay development bonus to Shell up to a maximum of $19.425 million at the time of award of development lease by the local government and $35.343 million production bonus at the time of start of commercial production.

“Shell has till now drilled five wells on the block and established presence of 1.9 Tcf of in-place reserves. We estimate at least 9.62 Tcf of reserves in the block, with an upside of 19 Tcf,” the executive said.

Gas production from the discoveries is planned in 2012 with peak output of 330 million standard cubic feet per day.

“The project has possibility of converting gas into LNG and exporting. We would like to take LNG to India,” he added.

Petronas of Malaysia has pre-emption right – it can match OVL’s bid within 30 days. and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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