ONGC defers fresh investments in Imperial Energy

March 26th, 2009 - 10:04 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) The state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has postponed its investments in its biggest acquisition, Imperial Energy, and will consolidate operations in western Siberia, the top company official said here Thursday.
“We have decided to do analytical and consolidation studies rather than investing more in raising output,” ONGC chairman and managing director R.S. Sharma told reporters on the sidelines of an industry conference.

ONGC’s overseas arm, ONGC Videsh, had acquired the Britain-based Imperial for $2.1 billion and was planning to increase output to 35,000 barrels a day by investing an additional $1.5 billion.

But this plans has been shelved, Sharma said, arguing that increasing investment in capacity augmentation had become infeasible due to the extremely low oil prices. “We want to conserve the resources for better oil prices (in future).”

He said ONGC would conduct field studies and do preparatory work for ramping up output in 2010.

Imperial had been delisted from the London Stock Exchange earlier this month.

Meanwhile, ONGC Petro-additions, a subsidiary of the company, is planning to hit the primary market in 2011-12 to raise funds for a $2.5 billion petrochemical project at Dahej in Gujarat.

“We would look for an IPO (initial public offer) closer to the completion of the project. We do not need funds for the next two years,” Sharma said.

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