ONGC Videsh Limited, or OVC, a subsidiary of state-run ONGC (BOM: 500312), has agreed to pay $2.64 billion to Anadarko Petroleum Corp (NYSE:APC) for a 10 percent stake in Mozambique's Rovuma Area 1 offshore gas field, which is set to become the world's second-largest liquefied natural gas, or LNG, export field, the companies said, in separate statements, on Monday.
ONGC has been acquiring interests in overseas oil fields to supplement its depleting oil resources in India, which continues to heavily rely on coal and oil to meet its growing energy needs. In June, OVC along with another public sector company, Oil India Limited (BOM:533106), had signed an agreement with Videocon Industries (BOM: 511389) to buy the latter's 10 percent stake in Rovuma Area 1 for $2.47 billion.
“As a result of both transactions, OVL will own a significant interest in this strategic project in Mozambique. Area 1 has potential to become one of the world’s largest LNG projects and today’s acquisition marks a further significant step by OVL/ONGC group towards the energy security of our country,” ONGC Chairman Sudhir Vasudeva said, in the statement.
The Area 1 LNG project is strategically located to supply LNG to India at a competitive price and the field covers approximately 2.6 million acres in the deep-water Rovuma Basin off Mozambique's coast with an estimated recoverable resources of 35 trillion to 65 trillion cubic feet, ONGC said in the statement.
The project has a planned production capacity of 20 million tons a year and could become the world’s second-largest LNG export field, after Qatar’s Ras Laffan project, according to a Bloomberg report.
"As the operator of Area 1, we are very pleased to have reached this agreement with OVL, which values our pre-transaction interest at more than $9.6 billion. We expect to use the net proceeds from this transaction to further accelerate the short- and intermediate-term oil and liquids opportunities we have in the Wattenberg field, Eagleford Shale, Permian and Powder River basins, as well as the Gulf of Mexico and other evolving plays in our portfolio,” Anadarko said, in a separate statement.
LNG forms only 10 percent of India's total energy mix and the country aims to increase the share of LNG to 20 percent by 2020.
The Rovuma Area 1 block is operated by Anadarko, which owned a 36.5 percent stake in the project, prior to the current stake sale. Other partners in the project are Mozambique’s Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, Japan’s Mitsui E&P, India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (NSE:BPCL) and Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production PCL (BKK:PTTEP).
On Monday, ONGC's shares were trading down 2.22 percent on India's benchmark BSE Sensex index.