OVL chasing foreign govts to clear its USD 712 mln of dues

NEW DELHI, Sept 20:  From Venezuela to Sudan, ONGC Videsh Ltd, India’s flagship overseas oil investment firm, is chasing foreign governments to get its USD 712 million (over Rs 4,700 crore) of dues cleared.
While Venezuela owns over USD 421 million in unpaid dividend on oil from San Cristobal project, Sudan is to pay OVL USD 192.31 million for oil it bought from its Greater Nile Oil Project and another USD 98.94 million in unpaid pipeline rent lease, official sources said.
In Venezuela, OVL, a subsidiary of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), had in April 2008 acquired 40 per cent stake in San Cristobal oil project. Corporación Venezolana del Petróleo (CVP), a unit of state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), owns the remaining stake.
With an investment totalling to USD 408.35 million, OVL’s share of crude oil production from the the 160.18 km acreage in the Orinoco Heavy Oil belt was 0.645 million tons in 2014-15.
OVL received USD 56.224 million as dividend on profit made by CVP in 2008 but dividends for 2009 to 2012 totalling to USD 421.51 million remained unpaid due to cash flow difficulties being faced by PDVSA/CVP.
Sources said the issue is being pursued at government to government level since last year but so far Venezuela has not indicated when the dues will be cleared.
The slump in oil prices with rates halving to below USD 50 per barrel has added to the problems as Venezuela is finding it difficult to meet its budget.
OVL had in 2003 acquired 25 per cent interest in Greater Nile Oil Project in Sudan. China’s CNPC holds 40 per cent stake in the project while Malaysia’s Petronas has 30 per cent and Sudapet of Sudan their remaining 5 per cent.
GNOP consisted of the upstream assets of on-land Blocks 1, 2 & 4 spread over 49,500 sq km in the Muglad Basin, located about 780 km South-West of the capital city of Khartoum in Sudan. The crude oil produced from oil field of GNOP, is transported through a 1504-km pipeline to Port Sudan at Red Sea.
Upon secession of South Sudan from Sudan in July 2011, the contract areas of Blocks 1, 2 & 4 which straddle between Sudan and South Sudan was split with major share of production and reserves are now situated in the South Sudan.
Post secession, as the Government of Sudan’s share of total production from Sudan was not sufficient to meet requirements of local refineries, foreign firms were asked to sell their share of crude oil to it.
However, the payment of dues on account of crude oil purchased by Government of Sudan has not been received, they said adding OVL’s share of the outstanding dues is about USD 192.31 million as on March 31, 2015. OVL’s share of oil production from GNOP, Sudan was 0.7 million tons in 2014-15. (PTI)


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