Mittal to transfer LUKOIL assets to ONGC JV
NEW DELHI. July 25. KAZINFORM - Steel czar Lakshmi N Mittal today said he plans to transfer the Kazakhstan oil assets that he acquired from Russia's Lukoil to his joint venture firm with ONGC Videsh Ltd, but officials at the state-run company remained sceptic if the promise will be fulfilled. In his first major oil deal, Mittal had in April acquired Russian oil firm Lukoil's 50 per cent stake in Caspian Investments Resources for 980 million dollars. The acquisition was to be done by ONGC Mittal Energy Ltd, the equal joint venture of OVL and Mittal Investment, but the India born billionaire went ahead on his own citing opposition to OMEL from Lukoil. He has since been delaying transferring the assets to OMEL citing opposition to such a move by the Kazakhstan government. "We are in discussion and I think it (CIR) will be transfered to OMEL," Mittal told reporters here today. "There is a commitment (that) this joint venture has the first right." CIR has equity in five Kazakh oil fields - Alibekmola, Kozhasai, Northern Buzachi, Karakuduk and Arman - in the Aktyubinsk and Mangistau regions. Current production from the fields, which have total proven reserves of some 270 million barrels, is more than 40,000 barrels per day and is set to increase in the coming years. Kazakhstan is one of the 10 countries Mittal had originally identified for exclusive pursuit of hydrocarbon opportunities in joint venture with Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC). Some in ONGC see the acquisition as violation of the pact unless Mittal transfers the stake to the joint venture firm, OMEL, Kazinform quotes The Hindu.