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India gets oil deals as Russia opens doors

Representative image.

NEW DELHI: India returned to Russia after six years for a bouquet of oil deals, potentially worth $2-3 billion, as Moscow actively seeks partners for meeting capital needs of new fields, amid low crude prices and western sanctions.
On Thursday , Rosneft, the world’s largest publicly-traded oil company , formalised sale of 15% stake in its 100% subsidiary Vankorneft to ONGC Videsh (OVL) for $1.3 billion. The deal gives OVL access to Rosneft’s crown jewel Vanko, the largest onland Russian field developed in the last 25 years. This was followed by a preliminary agreement for giving OVL more stake later and partnerships in other onland fields.

Rosneft also signed a preliminary agreement with a consortium of IndianOil and OIl India (OIL) for selling a stake in another subsidiary , TaasYuryakh Neftegazodobycha, which is developing the Srednebotuobinskoye field. Though the IOC-OIL combine is seeking 29%, which could be worth in excess of $1 billion.Rosneft sold 20% in Tass-Yuryakh to BP for $750 million in October and is negotiating with another company .

OVL had made its last big deal in 2009 by acquiring Imperial Energy . The oil sector agreements, reached as part of the annual summit between PM Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin, we re overshadowed by weightier deals in defence and nuclear power. But they indicate a change of heart on both sides.

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