Moscow, Aug 23 (UNI) Indian and Chinese companies have launched a competition for Britain's Imperial Energy Corporation (IEC), an oil exploration and production company operating in Russia (the Tomsk Region) and Kazakhstan, media reports said here.
Indian Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is ready to offer about 2.5 billion dollars for Imperial Energy, reports said, stressing that the purchase of IEC is of strategic importance for ONGC as it will give India an opportunity to get a foothold on the Russian market.
Today, ONGC's only Russian asset is a stake in the Sakhalin-I project.
Reports quoted experts as saying that China Petrochemical Corporation, or Sinopec Group has a better chance because Russia's state-controlled oil major Rosneft is interested in cooperation with it.
China's second largest oil company by size of assets, can frustrate the Indian company's plans, it said.
''Now they are conducting an assessment of the assets and studying financial and judicial papers. Chinese Sinopec is going to make their offer after ONGC does it,'' reported leading Russian business daily Kommersant.
Experts told Gazeta.ru online newspaper that China could win the competition for this attractive asset.
''Both companies are not inclined to pay over the odds for the asset, but Russia would prefer Sinopec over ONGC,'' Dmitry Abzalov, an expert at the Center for Current Politics said.
''On the whole, the Indian company's cooperation with Russia did not turn out as expected: India has not offered special preferences or interesting projects. Meanwhile, Rosneft is most interested in cooperation with China,'' Abzalov said.
UNI XC MP CS1714