Largest deal: Mukesh Ambani arrives at the petroleum ministry
INDIA’S Reliance Industries yesterday said it has received formal approval from the Indian government to sell a 30 per cent stake in some of its oil and gas blocks to Britain’s BP for $7.2bn (£4.43bn).
The sale is one of the largest foreign direct investments in India since the country started opening up its economy to the world two decades ago.
India last month gave the green light to the deal, clearing the way for the British energy giant to help explore and produce oil from hard-to-exploit deepwater reserves off India’s coast and yesterday handed over formal notification of its approval.
“BP will take 30 percent stake in 21 oil and gas production sharing contracts that Reliance operates in India, including the producing KG-D6 block,” Reliance said in a statement.
“Following the approval, Reliance and BP will work together to conclude the deal expeditiously.”
The initial proposal was for Reliance to sell the stake in 23 blocks but the government cleared only 21 blocks. Reliance, India’s largest private firm, has said it would continue to seek approval for the remaining two blocks.
The BP-Reliance deal also envisages a performance payment of up to $1.8bn (£1.10bn) if the tie-up leads to the discovery of more oil.
Reliance, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, hopes BP’s deepwater drilling expertise will increase output from its fields. BP, meanwhile, will benefit from access to new hydrocarbon resources and markets.
Such access has become especially important given the political upheaval in the oil-rich Middle East and north Africa.
BP already operates oil and gas blocks in India and has a huge lubricant business, besides a solar power venture with the giant Tata group.
India imports about 80 percent of its crude oil and has been frantically trying to find new fuel sources as the country's economy grows.
No Comments Posted yet
Do you have comments on this?