State run Indian Oil Corporation on Wednesday said it has earmarked $1 billion for the acquisition of good-quality producing or developing exploration and production assets abroad.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi to announce the launch of its 'Propel' brand of petrochemical products, IOC chairman B M Bansal said, "We are looking for good quality assets abroad. We have reserved $1 billion for acquisition of producing or developing E&P assets overseas.''
He said that the company, which has a 35-per cent stake in Venezuelan E&P assets worth $700 million, will have another state run company, Oil India Ltd, as its joint venture partner for any overseas acquisitions for five years.
Bansal said that ''IOC will look at shale gas options in the US as well.'' He added, "The oil ministry has sent a delegation to the US to assess opportunities there and we are in constant touch with the ministry.''
In India, IOC has expressed interest in shale gas, but no player here has the technical expertise needed for shale gas exploration. "The director general of hydrocarbons is trying to assess shale assets in India and we will bid for the blocks when the time comes,'' Bansal said.
Bansal said that IOC has made two to three discoveries in India and expects to add more in the next couple of years adding production from the discovered fields will start within the next three years.