Oil India Ltd. enters Libyan market

Sept. 3, 2009 at 10:46 AM
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NEW DELHI, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- State-run explorer Oil India Ltd. said it would begin drilling in Libya starting in October to tap an estimated 70 trillion cubic feet of reserves.

Oil India announced it plans to acquire stakes in several domestic oil blocks while using surplus cash reserves to finance investments in developments in South America, Africa and Australia.

T.K. Ananth Kumar, the financial director at Oil India, said in August his company has set aside millions of dollars worth of capital for exploration and production projects in foreign markets.

As part of its push abroad, Oil India, along with its Algerian partners at Sonatrach and the Indian Oil Corp., announced it has entered into a lucrative deal with the National Oil Corp. of Libya for four exploration blocks, the Indo-Asian News Service reports.

"We will drill four wells in Libya by 2010-11," said Oil India Executive Director for Corporate Affairs Narendra Bhalla. "We are hoping to begin onshore drilling in Libya by October by digging the first of the four wells."

The Indian government plans to divest around 20 percent of its holdings in Oil India in a public offering scheduled for Sept 7.

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