A consortium comprising Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Indian Oil Corporation, and Oil India has jointly placed a $5-billion bid for buying stake in ConocoPhillips’ six Canadian oil-sands assets in Alberta.

Early in 2012, Houston-based ConocoPhillips had announced that it was planning to sell as much as 50 per cent of its oil-sands reserves in Alberta. “There are some producing assets and some exploration assets on offer,’’ a senior official said on condition of anonymity.

Early this month, ONGC Videsh (OVL) had bought U.S. energy firm Hess Corp's stake in Azeri, Chirag and Guneshli (AGC) group of oil fields in Azerbaijan for $1 billion.

ConocoPhillips has hired Scotia Waterous for selling stake in six Alberta properties that produce about 25,000 barrels of oil a day from an estimated 30 billion barrels of bitumen in place.

said North America continued to attract global investors as it had huge tradable resources.

Asked if properties in North America continued to be attractive given that companies such as BHP Billiton, the BG Group and Canada's Encana had written down the value of shale gas assets, OVL Managing Director D. K. Sarraf replied that it was only a question of time when these assets would become valuable again. The price of natural gas was bound to go up, he remarked.

Of its six properties on offer in Canada, only Surmont, run in joint venture with France's Total SA, is producing oil. Located south of the oil-sands hub of Fort McMurray, Alberta, the steam-driven development pumps about 25,000 barrels a day. The other properties are: Thornbury, Clyden, Saleski, Crow Lake and McMillan Lake assets. ConocoPhillips had in 2010 sold its interest in the Syncrude Canada oil-sands mining venture to Sinopec for $4.7 billion.

Keywords: ONGCIOCOILoil assetsCanada

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