Norway’s Statoil ASA is planning to enter India’s upstream hydrocarbon space in partnership with state-run ONGC for deep-water exploration, according to a report in Mint. India's exploration and production (E&P) of deep water blocks policies are in line with Statoil's move to come to the country, a top Indian government official aware of the development told the source.
The Norwegian state-run firm is also interested at investing in offshore wind projects in India. The firms had called on or expression of interest (EoI) with the Indian government last week for the first such project in the Gujarat coast.
“We have had very good discussions with the Norwegian government representatives and Statoil as well. We can do a long-term technology partnership with them. There can be many things. In the coming days, E&P in India will happen in deep waters. So, if we get Norway and Statoil as a partner, there can’t be nothing better than that,” the senior official said.
Earlier, Statoil had an Indian presence through Norway’s Norsk Hydro until its oil and gas operations merged with Statoil in 2007. Alongwith Norsk Hydro's 15 percent stake, Brazil’s Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) owned a 10 percentin ONGC’s KG-DWN-98/2 block in the Krishna-Godavari basin off the coast of Andhra Pradesh. Both the firms quit their partnership with India in 2010 over delays in approving their participation in the development of India’s key gas find.
Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde, Norway’s deputy minister of petroleum and energy, declined to comment on the proposed partnership between Statoil and ONGC. "We are positive towards the development that we have seen of late in the licensing conditions in India. That we find interesting,” Tor Martin Anfinnsen, senior vice-president (marketing and supply) at Statoil, told the paper. “As we speak, there is no agreement or deal between Statoil and ONGC. But it’s natural for Statoil to particularly access deep-water where we have acknowledged expertise worldwide,” Tor Martin Anfinnsen added.