Deora arrives in Moscow to discuss bilateral energy projects

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Moscow, Nov 4 (UNI) Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora arrived here today on a two-day visit to hold talks with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and other senior level officials on India's participation in future oil and gas projects in Russia.

Mr Deora, who is leading a high-level oil and gas delegation, is also expected to call on Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, ahead of his visit to India for the annual summit with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in early December.

India's ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) is seeking investment in joint projects in Russia following its recent 2.6 billion dollar bid for London-based Imperial Energy, a Russian oil company with production licences for fields in the Tomsk Region and far eastern Kamchatka.

The deal, which has been approved by Imperial Energy's Board of Directors, now needs the final approval of shareholders to go through.

ONGC's sole project in Russia, prior to the acquisition of London-listed Imperial Energy, had been a 20 per cent stake in the Sakhalin-I project off Russia's Pacific Coast, with 1.7 billion dollar investment on production sharing basis.

While Sakhalin-I and II projects have already been decided, India is keen to take part in the Sakhalin-3 and 4 projects with gas monopoly Gazprom or state oil producer, Rosneft.

Mr Deora is also expected to discuss the Trebs and Titov exploration blocks in the Timan Pechora region.

UNI XC GL AS1834

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