OVL to bid for Tanzania’s deepsea oil and gas assets in fourth licensing round

offshore tanzania-QR9iudjz0 sxc optOVL currently has stakes in 34 oil and gas assets in 17 countries. (Image source: QR9iudjz0/sxc.hu)ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), overseas arm of India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), has announced that it will bid for deepsea oil and gas blocks in Tanzania

Tanzania is offering eight blocks in its fourth Offshore Licensing Round, bids for which close on May 15, according to industry sources. The bidding round includes seven deep offshore blocks and the Lake Tanganyika North Offshore Block, news agency PTI reported.

The deepsea blocks are reportedly located in water depths of 2,000 metres to 3,000 metres adjacent to proven prospective blocks. The Lake Tanganyika North Block is located in water depth of up to 1,500 metres along the western arm of the East African Rift System, which is proven prospective for commercial liquid hydrocarbons.

However, sources added that the blocks offered exclude offshore Blocks 1B and 1C, which are reserved for the government and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) who will look to gain a strategic partner to explore these areas through a competitive process.

SP Garg, managing director of OVL, “We are examining the blocks on offer. Based on our evaluation we will decide to place bids for one or more blocks.”

Asked if OVL would bid alone or take a partner, Garg added that the explorer has not decided on that.

Africa, he said, is one of the focus geographies where OVL is looking to expand its footprint. OVL currently has producing and exploration assets in Sudan, South Sudan, Nigeria and Libya.

Tanzania’s fourth deepwater round was originally to be launched in April 2011. At the time, nine offshore areas — Blocks 1B, 1C, 2A, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 5A and 5B were offered. But the round was reportedly postponed for technical reasons.

The bidding round was finally announced in October 2013 with Block 2A, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 5A, 5B and North Lake Tanganyika put on offer.

“We are aggressively looking at acreages, both exploration as well as producing properties, in several geographies to realise our objective of more than doubling production by 2017-18,” Garg said.

As per ONGC Group’s perspective Plan 2030, OVL’s oil and gas production should increase from the existing level of 8.36mn tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas to 20mn tonnes oil equivalent by 2017-18 and 60mn tonnes by 2029-30.

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