ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas investment arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), is eying exploration and production assets in Africa and Latin America. OVL signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with YPF SA of Argentia on the sidelines of the India Energy Week in Bengaluru, a company statement said.
"The MOU seeks to enhance cooperation between the two companies in the energy sector, including but not limited to cooperation in the areas of exploration and development of upstream oil and gas opportunities, promote investment and cooperation, and forging closer ties between research and training centres," it said.
YPF, Argentina's largest integrated energy company, is 51 per cent owned by the Argentine Government and 49 per cent listed in the New York and Buenos Aires stock exchanges. It is engaged in oil and gas exploration and production, being the largest shale operator outside of the United States of America, and is also involved in transportation, refining and marketing of natural gas and petroleum products.
OVL is India's flagship overseas oil firm. It currently has a stake in 32 oil and gas projects in 15 countries, spanning from Venezuela to Vietnam. Its managing director Rajarshi Gupta speaking on the sidelines of the conference said the company is interested in exploration and production investment opportunities in countries like Ghana and Suriname.
"Bigger hot spots with larger discoveries" are better options to invest, he said, citing huge hydrocarbon potential in Africa and Latin America. He did not give details. OVL's biggest investment is in Russia where it has invested in four different projects. Sakhalin-1, its main producing asset, is producing some 150,000 barrels per day after resumption of production under the management, he said adding the output should reach 200,000 bpd by June. US supermajor ExxonMobil was the operator of Sakhalin-1 before it announced its exit from the project over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. OVL holds a 20 per cent stake in Sakhalin-1.