ONGC-led consortium to invest $3 bn in Venezuela for exploration

The overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC Videsh), in partnership with other government-run firms, plans to invest $3 billion to explore oil and gas in Venezuela, according to Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia.

ONGC Videsh has already invested $350 million and intends to invest an additional $500 million in the San Cristobel oil field in the South American country.

In addition, ONGC Videsh with an Indian consortium that include other state-run firms like Indian Oil Corporation and Oil India proposes to invest $2.2 billion in the Carobobo project. This takes the total proposed investment to over $3 billion.

Reuters

Scindia, who is on an official visit to South American countries, discussed the investment proposals during his meeting the Venezuelan commerce minister Edmee Betancourt in Caracas.

The minister informed that the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) was keen to explore opportunities in the natural gas value chain.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) is also keen to explore opportunities to export base oil to Venezuela and its marketing, according to a statement released by the ministry of commerce and industry here Wednesday.

Engineers India Limited (EIL) would like to provide its design and engineering services in the hydrocarbon sector, it said.

Scindia said relations between India and Venezuela was a complementary one as India's energy deficit could be tackled by Venezuela which, in turn, needs Indian help in manufacturing and engineering sectors.

The minister also stressed the need to expedite finalisation of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between between the two countries.

The Indian government has also desired to attract investments from Venezuela. It has forwarded a proposal to Venezuela for participation in a refinery joint venture with Indian Oil Corporation in Odisha.