OIL to get Navaratna status by 2008

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Guwahati, Oct 2: The Oil India Limited(OIL) has announced that they would get the coveted Navratna status by next year.

The inter-ministerial committee has cleared the proposal for conferring the status on our company,'' OIL CMD M R Pasrija said at the recently held Annual General meeting adding that review from Apex committee was expected within this year for grant of final approval.

With the grant of Navaratna status, the OILwill gain better chances for facilitating expeditious Mega Projects and will also have a fast track route of investment by way of equity in companies.

Highlighting the Company's exponential growth, Mr Pasrija mentioned that last year, OIL bagged eight exploration blocks(six onshore blocks as operator and two offshore blocks as non-operator) under NELP-VI Round of bidding - the highest number awarded to OIL in a single round of bidding.

In the process, OIL has doubled the number of onshore blocks from six to 12 as operator in a single round. Amongst these blocks, the most prospective block was the Krishna-Godavari Block, which almost shares the boundary with Ravva Oil Field and Dhirubhai-Ambani Offshore Block.

This Reliance Block is claimed to be the biggest gas discovery in recent years. The CMD emphasised that all the other Blocks which OIL had acquired also appears to be quite prospective. OIL has participated in all the past six NELP bidding rounds concluded so far, and has now acquired total 21 blocks.

Mr Pasrija mentioned that North East India continues to be the main area of focus for OIL and about 80 per cent of the total XI Plan approved outlay has been earmarked for the North East.

Mentioning the Company's overseas presence in six countries, Mr Pasrija said that OIL has two Blocks in Libya, with an area of 9797 sq kms. The Company will complete seismic data acquisition in two months and plan to start Drilling in the next year.

In Iran, OIL has 20 per cent PI in Farsi Block. Discovery of oil and gas in the block has been made which is being evaluated for commercialisation.

In Sudan, the construction of the product pipeline has been completed and the same was handed over to the Ministry of Energy and Mines(MEM), Sudan. This pipeline has already started generating revenue. In Gabon, OIL has one block where the first phase of exploration is in progress. Aeromagnetic survey has been completed in this block, and seismic survey will start soon. Drilling in the block is expected next year.

In Nigeria , drilling of the first well is expected to commence by thus year-end. OIL also has PI in two on-land Blocks in Yemen.

Mr Pasrija mentioned that the Company is also actively pursuing acquisition of companies having a good portfolio of exploration acreages and producing assets.

The OIL had been conferred ''Best PSU Award for the year 2005-06 under Public Enterprise survey by the Department of Public Enterprises'' and ''Performance Excellence Award, 2005-06'' by the Indian Institution of Industrial Engineering (IIIE).


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