Deora leaves for Russia for a slice of Sakhalin

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New Delhi, Nov 24 (UNI) To pitch for an agreement between ONGC Videsh limited (OVL) and Russian oil major Rosneft for a joint bid in the Sakhalin-IV oilfied project, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora leaves on a three-day trip to Russia tomorrow.

Mr Deora is being accompanied by chiefs of Indian Oil Corporation, Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) and ONGC Videsh limited (OVL).

OVL has a 20 per cent stake in the Sakhalin-I field, which is operated by a consortium led by Exxon Mobil. The Indian share is 2.4 million tonnes of crude per year.

Russia now plans to invite bids for Sakhalin-III, IV, V and VI projects. India is expected to pitch for an agreement between OVL and Russian oil major Rosneft for a joint bid in the Sakhalin-IV project.

The waters of the Sea of Okhotsk around Sakhalin Island are believed to hold total estimated reserves of at least 45 billion barrels of oil and gas equivalents.

Mr Deora's visit will explore the option of Gail working with Russian gas firm Itera for setting up a city gas distribution network for retail compressed natural gas (CNG) for vehicles.

Also in focus are the Trebs and Titov exploration blocks in the Timan Pechora region.

India is keen on entering into a joint venture with Russian companies for the oilfields in east Siberia and gas fields of Shtokman.

UNI

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