ONGC Videsh Limited, or OVC, a subsidiary of state-run ONGC (BOM: 500312), and Oil India Limited (BOM:533106), or OIL, have signed an agreement with Videocon Industries (BOM: 511389) to buy its 10 percent stake in Mozambique's Rovuma Area 1 Offshore gas field for $2.47 billion, the companies said in a statement on Tuesday.
The acquisition of the partial stake in the block, which has the potential to become one of the world’s largest producers of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, will be implemented through a new corporate entity in which OVC and OIL will hold a 60 percent and 40 percent stake respectively.
“Considering the growing importance of natural gas in the primary energy basket, this acquisition is a significant step towards the energy security of our country," ONGC Chairman Sudhir Vasudeva said in the statement.
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. Liquefied natural gas, or 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 Offshore block, which is spread across 2.6 million acres in the deep-water Rovuma Basin off Mozambique's coast, has estimated reserves of 35 trillion to 65 trillion cubic feet of gas.
The block is operated by Anadarko Petroleum Corp (NYSE:APC), which owns a 36.5 percent stake in the project, and OVC and Oil India also were reported to be in talks with Anadarko for buying 10 percent of its stake in the project.
Other partners in the project are Mozambique’s Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, Japan’s Mitsui E&P, India’s BPCL and Thailand’s PTTEP.
On Tuesday, ONGC shares ended up 3.8 percent, Oil India shares fell 2.10 percent while Videocon shares slumped 5.72 percent, on India's benchmark BSE Sensex index, which ended the day up 0.48 percent.