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ONGC, OIL make joint bid for Mozambique gas stake
MUMBAI (Reuters) - State-owned oil companies ONGC(ONGC.NS) and Oil India Ltd(OILI.NS) have bid for a 20 percent stake in a Mozambique oil and gas field being offered by U.S. explorer Anadarko Petroleum Corp (APC.N) and Videocon Group, a source directly involved in the matter told Reuters.
Recent discoveries have turned the Rovuma offshore field into a major draw for global energy producers and boosted Mozambique's gas reserves to around 150 trillion cubic feet, enough to supply world number-one importer Japan for 35 years.
First round bids for the Rovuma gas block that could fetch about $4.5 billion took place on Thursday. PetroChina (601857.SS), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) and Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) are among others expected to submit indicative proposals, industry sources said last week.
The source, speaking on Thursday on condition of anonymity, did not indicate the likely bid price by ONGC and Oil India.
Project operator Anadarko is planning to trim its stake in block 1 of the Rovuma offshore field to 26.5 percent in order to share the cost of developing the project. Videocon, controlled by Indian billionaire Venugopal Dhoot, is also looking to sell its 10 percent stake.
Italian oil firm Eni (ENI.MI) connected east Africa's gas riches to energy-hungry China on Thursday with the sale of a 20 percent stake in its Mozambique offshore project to Chinese oil company CNPC.
Last year Thai state oil company PTT Exploration and Production PCL PTTE.BK paid $1.9 billion for Cove Energy Plc and its 8.5 percent of the field, trumping Shell in a hotly contested battle.
Officials at ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of ONGC that is making the bid, and at Oil India, could not be reached for comment.
State-owned ONGC, which is facing depleting supplies from its old oil and gas fields in India, has been on a buying spree in the past year to secure interests in overseas assets.
It agreed to pay $5 billion for ConocoPhillips' 8.4 percent share of the Kashagan field in Kazakhstan in November, and months earlier signed a $1 billion deal for a small stake in oil fields in Azerbaijan.
(Editing by Tony Munroe and James Jukwey)
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