The government has cleared a proposal by ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), overseas arm of
the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), to acquire 33 per cent stake in
a gas field in Egypt from Royal Dutch Shell, official sources said.
Videsh Ltd (OVL), the sources said, will be paying between $160-$175 million to
acquire Royal Dutch/Shell''s 33 per cent stake in a deep-sea gas field off Egypt.
cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) chaired by prime minister Manmohan
Singh approved the proposal at its meeting on June 15.
''Project Wonder'', the North East Mediterranean Deepwater Concession in the Egypt
Mediterranean Sea, has Shell as operator with 100 per cent stake. The gas field
is estimated to hold close to 10 trillion cubic feet reserves.
OVL official said the company would not pay Shell for buying the stake but for
its share of exploration cost in 2007 of $140 million and a maximum of $40 million
for future cost beyond 2007.
OVL would not pay toward the past costs (about $300 million) incurred by Shell
till October 1, 2006 .
OVL will pay development bonus to Shell up to a maximum of $19.4 million at the
time of award of lease by the local government and $35.343 million production
bonus at the time of start of commercial production.
has till now drilled five wells on the block and established presence of 1.9 tcf
of in-place reserves. OVL estimates at least 9.62
tcf of reserves in the block, with an upside of 19 tcf, the official said.
production from the discoveries is planned in 2012 with peak output of 330 million
standard cubic feet per day. OVL plans to convert gas into LNG and bring it to