ONGC Videsh to enter Azeri waters

Sept. 10, 2012 at 5:40 AM

DEHRADUN, India, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Indian energy company ONGC Videsh said it would mark its debut in the Azeri waters of the Caspian Sea by taking a small stake in pipeline and oil assets.

Hess Corp. announced it agreed to sell its 2.72 percent stake in the Azeri-Chiraq-Guneshli fields and its 2.36 percent interest in the associated Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline to ONGC Videsh Ltd. for $1 billion.

ACG, operated by BP and one of the largest oil complexes in the world, is producing around 700,000 barrels of crude oil per day. BTC services Caspian oil producers by delivering about 1 million bpd to the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean coast.

State-owned ONGC Videsh said the acquisition marks its entry into the oil-rich waters of Azerbaijan and is in line with ambitions to add lucrative plays to its exploration and production portfolio. Hess, said the divestment is part of a strategy to sell holdings of small working interest.

ACG lies about 60 miles east of the Azeri capital. The field started production in the late 1990s.

The deal is expected to close early next year.

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