Kuwait Petroleum may bid in upcoming NELP round with ONGC

Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC), a subsidiary of KPC, will join ONGC in bidding for oil and gas blocks to be offered in the ninth round of NELP scheduled to be launched on October 15.

"We are joining our friends (ONGC)," KUFPEC Head for East operations Ali D Al-shammari said after a delegation level talks between the Kuwait's Oil Minister and Indian Petroleum Minister Murli Deora.

Deora said India imports around 11.8 million tonnes of crude annually from Kuwait and is looking at increasing the volumes.

KPC was one of the seven suitors for fuel retailing firm IBP Co Ltd, in which the government sold its shareholding through a strategic sale in 2002. IOC outbid KPC, Royal Dutch Shell and Reliance Industries to buy IBP.

Yesterday, Kuwait's Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Abdullah al-Sabah had said that his country is keen on entering into a long-term contract for supply of Kuwaiti crude oil to India, he also deliberated on the OPEC nation using strategic crude oil storages being built in Mangalore and Vizag for storage of Kuwaiti crude.

This, along with downstream investment opportunities in petrochemical projects, such as the olefin project of ONGC Petro Additions Ltd (OPAL), the aromatics project of ONGC Mangalore Petrochemicals Ltd (OMPL) and IOC's Paradip petrochemicals project, would be discussed threadbare when he meets Oil Minister Murli Deora tomorrow afternoon.
Also, the interest of Indian companies to acquire a fertiliser plant in Kuwait, run by Petrochemicals Industries Company (PIC) and KPC, as well as the possibility of investing jointly in fertiliser production inside and outside Kuwait, and negotiation of a long-term urea offtake agreement from Kuwait by India, would figure in tomorrow's talks.

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