By an OGJ Online Correspondent
MUMBAI, Oct. 15 -- Three Indian government-owned companies -- Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC), Indian Oil Corp. (IOC), and Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) -- have agreed to form a partnership for overseas operations.
They will work as a consortium in all future international ventures for oil and gas exploration and production, transportation, and marketing projects.
As a start, the trio has agreed to buy gas from South Korean conglomerate Daewoo Corp.'s fields in Myanmar.
"The first right of sale has already been signed between Daewoo and GAIL in the last week of September, and the purchase agreement will soon be signed by the ONGC-IOC-GAIL consortium," said Proshanto Banerjee, chairman and managing director of GAIL.
To import gas from Myanmar, GAIL will build a 550-km pipeline around the continental shelf of Bangladesh that will not require the permission of that country. Landfall will be at the port town of Haldia in West Bengal. Banerjee said, "We expect to invest around 30 billion rupees [$625 million] on the Myanmar-India offshore pipeline."
In the future, the partners will operate in areas of core competence: ONGC in exploration, IOC in products marketing, and GAIL in gas transport and marketing.
A formal merger of the three companies has been rumored for some time.