ONGC has not shared concerns on Cairn-Vedanta, says Petroleum Secretary

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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New Delhi, Aug 17 (ANI): Petroleum Secretary S Sundareshan on Tuesday said that the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has not yet raised any concerns on the Cairn India (CAIL)-Vedanta Resources (VED) deal.

"ONGC is the largest payer in the ENP (Encore Energy Partners) sector in India. They are also a 30 percent shareholder in the Rajasthan block. They operate this block jointly. We will certainly take the account of views of ONGC before a decision is taken. ONGC has not raised any concerns with us yet for the reasons that there is no official proposal before us," Sundareshan told reporters here.

He further said that as per the provisions of the production-sharing contract, any assignment of the block to a different party would require the concurrence of the government.

"Provisions of the keen involvement in exploration in India are governed by the provisions of the production-sharing contract (PSC) entered into between the government, Cairn and the ONGC, who are a 30 percent shareholder in the Rajasthan block, but I must clarify that Cairn India also has other interests in the country apart from Rajasthan," he added.

ONGC which has a 30 percent stake in Cairn India's Rajasthan oil block called RJ-ON-90/1, also has a first-right-of-refusal in any change of ownership at the British firm's Indian unit.

Shares in Cairn India, the country's fourth-largest oil and gas company, rose 4.8 percent. Vedanta shares fell 6.8 percent on the London Stock Exchange.

Cairn Energy may sell a stake in Cairn India, but will not exit the business, the head of the company's local unit said.

Vedanta Resources, in its first move into the energy sector, is buying a controlling stake in India's No.4 oil and Gas Company for up to 9.6 billion dollars. (ANI)

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