Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), on Tuesday, said it was evaluating an investment proposal for two to three oil blocks in Venezuela and was looking at exploration and production opportunities in Iraq, Mexico, Canada and Myanmar.

Addressing reporters on the sidelines of a FICCI conference on energy here, RIL executive director P.M.S. Prasad said there were various options under consideration as regards to Venezuela. “We are looking at two things in Venezuela. One, we have a long-term crude oil supply contract and enhancing the quantities under this contract, possibly from next year. T We are also looking at investing in Venezuela. They have given us 2-3 opportunities for us to evaluate ,” MR. Prasad said. RIL currently imports about 300,000 barrels per day of oil from Venezuela for processing at its facility in Jamangar, Gujarat.

RIL had last year signed a memorandum of understanding with Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, to develop a project in the Orinoco extra heavy crude belt.

Mr. Prasad also said RIL was looking at opportunities to invest in Mexico, Iraq, Canada and Myanmar but did not elaborate on what assets the company had shortlisted or was looking at for investment.

Unstable policy regime

RIL also hit out at the “unstable policy regime” prevailing in the oil and gas sector in the country, and indicated that it could contemplate legal action if it was forced to pay $4.2 mbtu for the shortfall of gas from KG D6 after the new pricing regime takes shape from April 2014.

“This is the worst thing that can (sic) happen. I don’t know if that is true. If that is true, then that is a problem. We clearly will say it is violation of PSC. So whatever is the dispute resolution mechanism, we will have to resort to,” Mr. Prasad said, when asked what would (RIL) do if it was forced to sell gas at the old price. Mr. Prasad also said the government was not honouring signed contracts and extraneous factors were being brought into business. “The country did not have a stable policy regime and this was responsible for exit of global energy giants like Royal Dutch Shell, BHP Biliton of Australia, Statoil of Norway and Brazil's Petrobras. It is there for everyone to see. We don’t have a stable policy regime which is very important if you expect any investor to come in and invest either in technology or in a big risk investment ,” he said. He said the New Exploration Licensing Policy had been continuously eroded by taking away several rights of the companies.

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