Indian, Chinese firms win joint bid for oil assets

New Delhi, August 14 :

India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd and Chinese oil major Sinopec have jointly won a $800 million-plus bid for oil assets in Colombia, a news report said today. Under the deal, ONGC and Sinopec

will take a 25 per cent stake each in Omimex de Colombia, a Delaware, US-based

company that operates oil fields in Colombia, the Financial Express reported citing unnamed sources.

The acquisition will likely to be concluded by end of this month.

The bid is the latest in efforts by India and China to collaborate in securing energy supplies for their booming economies.

Earlier this year, ONGC and China’s CNPC jointly bagged a $580 million deal for equity

in Syria’s Al Furat oil fields. ONGC Videsh Ltd is the overseas arm of state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corp, India’s top exploration company.

An ONGC official, when contacted, said the company, together with Sinopec, was looking at opportunities in Colombia, but declined to comment on the Omimex deal.

The Financial Express reported Colombia’s national oil company Ecopetrol will continue to hold a 50 per cent stake in Omimex. The report stated ONGC Videsh Ltd has separately signed an agreement with Ecopetrol to collaborate in exploring oil in Colombia.

Control on raw materials to be softened :

SHANGHAI: Chinese regulators plan to go ahead with long-promised major commodity price reforms which would ramp up costs for both consumers and businesses. “We will allow the scarcity of resources to determine their price,” the China Daily quoted Bi Jingquan a key official at the National Development and Reform Commission, the nation’s top planner, overseeing price reform. “That’s the basic principle of the price reforms.” Relying on the market to price raw materials and energy resources will increase costs but the government is determined to make prices more sensitive to market forces, said Bi, a vice-minister at the commission. The government has previously said that pricing needs to be less regulated, but the newspaper reported it was the first time that Beijing had come across with a clear

and forceful message on the subject in a public forum. Beijing, which subsidises the cost of raw materials, such as water, coal, gas and oil, to help contain inflation, has long been afraid that market liberalisation would impact too heavily on consumers and state companies. — AFP