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    Hindustan Petroleum joins talks to buy stake in Russian oil fields

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    Hindustan Petroleum

    State-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) has joined the Indian consortium negotiating buying a 49 per cent stake in Russia’s Vankor Cluster oil fields in the Arctic region.

    Originally, ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas investment arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), signed an MoU to explore buying a stake in Suzunskoye, Tagulskoye and Lodochnoye fields – collectively known as Vankor Cluster.

    Later, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Oil India (OIL) and Bharat PetroResources (BPRL), a unit of Bharat Petroleum Corporation, came in using the influence of the oil ministry.  Now, HPCL has shown interest and has joined the talks, sources privy to the development said.

    Rosneft, Russia’s national oil company that owns the fields, wants to retain a majority stake and is keen to sell only up to 49 per cent stake. Sources said OVL is keen to take the largest share of 20 -26 per cent as the project had originally come to it and others joined in later.

    If OVL takes 26 per cent stake, OIL-IOC-BPRL-HPCL may have 23.9 per cent, they said.

    Besides, the OIL-IOC-BPRL consortium has taken another 29.9 per cent stake in a separate Taas-Yuryakh oil field in East Siberia for $ 1.12 billion. The investments have taken the total outlay in Russia this year to $ 5.46 billion.

    These investments will give India 15.18 mt of oil equivalent. These compare to $ 28.48 billion investment by Indian companies overseas in the past 50 years, leading to about 10 million tonnes of oil equivalent.

    While Vankor produces about 4,42,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) – that is, 4 per cent of Russian crude oil production – Taas produces about 21,000 barrels per day of oil, and a peak of 1,00,000 bpd is expected by 2021.

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