India has decided to join hands with major Russian oil and gas companies to jointly bid for the prosperous Sakhalin-III oil fields.

“We are in talks with the Russian Government as well as the Russian companies to put in place this strategic alliance,” Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora said here.

Decision making

Mr. Deora said that whenever the Russian government opened up its process of decision making, ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) would surely participate. India had already demanded Russia that it should be given a stake in Sakhalin-III project in Far East Russia and gas fields in East Siberia and Yamal Peninsula during talks with Mr. Putin.

Discussions

It is learnt that OVL and the Petroleum Ministry officials held discussions with the Gazprom Deputy Chairman, Alexey Borisovich Miller, who had come along with Mr. Putin, on the possibility of forging an alliance to bid for the Sakhalin-III oil fields. Gazprom owns licences for at least eight of the 11 gas fields discovered on the Yamal Peninsula. OVL already has 20 per cent stake in Sakhalin-I project and is keen on an agreement with Russia's Rosneft to jointly bid for Sakhalin-III. OVL is also looking at Trebs and Titov exploration blocks for which an alliance with Rosneft is being looked at. ONGC Chairman and Managing Director R. S. Sharma had stated that his company was in talks with Rosneft, Gazprom and Sistema for exploration and production possibilities.

On its part, Russia has stated that the Indian company was welcome to join Russian gas monopoly Gazprom OAO in the Yamal Peninsula.

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