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Russia's Rosneft has offered ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) a stake in Magadan-2 and Magadan-3 exploration blocks in the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk in eastern Russia.
"Rosneft conveyed that after OVL evaluates the blocks on the technical merits, further details about the participation by OVL would be discussed," Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas Panabaaka Lakshmi said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
A team of OVL, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), has visited the data room and "the technical evaluation of the blocks is being carried out." The blocks Magadan-2 and Magadan-3 are situated in the Okhotsk sea in the eastern part of Russia. The Okhotsk sea isbounded by mainland Russia in the west and north and by Kamchatka-Kuril peninsula towards east and northeast Hokkaido (Japan) to the south.
OVL is keen to get a foothold in the Arctic projects and expand in Siberia and Far East Russia. Rosneft had last year got licence to explore in five areas in the Sea of Okhotsk-Magadan-1, -2 and -3, Lisyansky and Kashevarovsky. The area is estimated to hold 2.8 billion tonnes of oil and oil equivalent natural gas. "OVL has not receied any offer from any other nation for joint participation in exploration," she said.
Sources said OVL had in May last year written to Rosneft expressing interest in taking a stake in oil and gas blocks in the Russia's Arctic region which have recently been given out to US major ExxonMobil, Italian giant ENI and Norway's Statoil for exploration.
The Russian firm had also recently roped in Statoil for four new joint ventures, including exploring the Magadan-1, Lisyansky and Kashevarovsky blocks that have recoverable reserves of 1.4 billion tonnes. OVL has 20 per cent stake in the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas field in the Russian Pacific ocean and had bought Imperial Energy, which has fields in Siberia, in 2008.
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