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Indian and Chinese companies win bid in Syrian oil fields

New Delhi, Dec 21, IRNA-Indian and Chinese companies have won the bid for Petro-Canada's Syrian oil fields.

The state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) of India and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) have won the bid to acquire about 37 percent stake in the Syrian oil fields of Canadian oil company Petro-Canada for 484 million euros.

This was the first time that Indian and Chinese companies had made a joint bid to acquire oil properties overseas. The two government-run firms, often competing against each other in the race for acquiring overseas assets, are sharing equity at a 50:50 ratio.

In all, eight firms were in the race for Petro-Canada's stake in Al Furat Venture in Syria.

"Its an important milestone. We have been working on this for quite some time. Instead of competing wherever possible, we should work together," Petroleum Secretary S C Tripathi said.

Tripathi said the government was encouraging ONGC to network with major oil firms to develop strategic partnerships for skill upgradation, technology and overseas acquisition.

ONGC's overseas arm, OVL, had competed with the Chinese firms for oil proterties in Central Asia, West Africa and Latin America. They were putsched head-on for buying Canadian firm PetroKazakhstan, which has most of its operations in Kazakhstan, and EnCana's Ecuador assets.

Calgary-based Petro-Canada, in a statement, said it has reached an agreement to sell its producing assets in Syria to a joint venture of India's ONGC and CNPC for 484 million euros.

ONGC-CNPC bought Petro-Canada's 37.5 percent interest in Deir Ez Zor block, 33.3 percent interest in Ash Sham block, 36.0 percent interest in Gas Utilization Agreement. This essentially would give the two firms access to about 58,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from Syria.

... Payvand News - 12/21/05 ... --

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