India set for oil hunt in Canadian oilsands

July 4th, 2008 - 10:40 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, July 4 (IANS) India may soon sign a multi-billion-dollar deal with Canada to scour for oil in the oilsands of its Alberta province. Quoting Indian Petroleum Secretary MS Srinivasan, Canada’s Canwest News Service reported that India planned to sign the deal to hunt for oil in Alberta’s oilsands this year.

“Indeed, we are going to get more actively engaged in the Canadian tar sands in the next six months, we are looking at opportunities,” the news agency quoted Srinivasan as saying at the World Petroleum Congress in Madrid Thursday.

According to the petroleum secretary, India would “prefer to acquire assets over producing companies on a magnitude of at least $2 billion to $2.5 billion,” the agency said.

“Size does matter,” Srinivasan was quoted as saying. “We would like to be going for an economically viable size; too small an acreage may not be a commercially viable proposition.”

Srinivasan was also quoted as saying that “India had two teams in Canada looking at oilsands assets but became `busy’ with other opportunities in other countries.”

Alberta energy minister Mel Knight was also quoted as confirming that high-level delegations from India have indeed visited his province.

“This is a global business and we know we need global involvement. They (India) are very open and we have had some positive discussions about where they see the potential of doing some work in Alberta,” the agency quoted the minister as saying.

According to the report, India has been looking for an entry into Alberta’s oilsands for more than two years. In April 2006 it was reportedly on the verge of signing a deal that would mark its foray into North America, the agency said.

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