ONGC says Nigeria blocks not under scanner

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New Delhi, Nov 20 (UNI) Country's flagship oil explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) today refuted the media reports that the licences won by the OMEL for two blocks in Nigeria are under scanner.

OMEL, a joint venture between ONGC and steel tycoon L N Mittal, had won the rights to explore the two blocks -- Block 285 and 279 -- in 2005.

It has been reported that the JV had secured the licences through the back door, in the wake of pay-off complaints received by the Nigerian government.

''The report is totally wrong. There is no such thing happening there,'' ONGC Chairman and Managing Director R S Sharma told UNI here on the sidelines of a national workshop on 'Strategy for Investment of Surplus Funds by CPSEs in Mutual Funds.' The new government in Nigeria formed early this year is reviewing contracts of oil blocks awarded in the last couple of years after it received complaints of irregularities in their allotments with some quarters.

OMEL had committed to invest six billion dollars in setting a 1,80,000 barrels per day refinery, a 2000 MW power plant and laying a railway line from east to the west of Nigeria.

OMEL had paid a signature bonus of 50 million dollars for OPL 285 and 75 million dollars for OPL 279.

UNI

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