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ONGC-BPCL expanding opportunities in Iran and Brazil

In a recent development, an Indian State-owned refiner, BPCL has signed an MoU with the Brazilian firm Petrobras.

By suryanshkhurana
New Update
ONGC BPCL petrobras

After Covid-19 hit the world, India has been successfully helping other nations through thick and thin. For instance, India sent vaccine doses to nations like Brazil, wheat and medical assistance to the Taliban hit Afghanistan via IRAN. With these steps and more, Iran and the Indian governments have continued history of cooperating with each other.

In foreign policy, trade is the first step to increasing friendly relations with a country. This is achieved by the joint cooperation of governments and firms to facilitate a win-win situation for all the concerned stakeholders. 

BPCL-Petrobras deal

In a recent development, an Indian State-owned refiner, BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited) has signed an MoU with the Brazilian firm Petrobras. Through MoU is looking to invest $1.6 billion in the block BM-SEAL-11. Bharat Petroleum Resources Limited (BPRL) is an upstream oil and gas production subsidiary of BPCL, BPRL.

It has been reported earlier in 2013, that BPRL and Videocon Industries together hold a 40% stake in the hydrocarbon block located in the ultra-deep waters of the Sergipe-Alagoas basin, off Brazil.

But, Videocon which is now declared bankrupt, its stake was purchased by BPRL making BPRL the sole owner of the 40% stake. The rest 60% is owned by Petrobras.

With the field now developed, together these companies can produce about 100000 barrels of oil per day(bopd).

As of now, BPCL imports oil from Iraq and Saudi Arabia and refines this in its three refineries located in Mumbai, Bina (Madhya Pradesh), and Kochi in Kerala. To not rely on a single geographical source for the import of its oil, BPCL has plans to diversify.

ONGC-Iranian gas field

In a similar development, ONGC was offered a 30% stake in the Iranian gas field. This is in continuation with the 2011 Master Development Plan (MDP) of the gas field named Farzad-B which was to be developed but Iran got sanctioned for its nuclear program. Now, NIOC Iran has asked the Indian firm to exercise its 30% stake within 90 days after citing the exploration contract. ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) holds a 40% stake in the gas field. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) holds a 40% stake and the remaining 20% is with Oil India Ltd (OIL).

The stake of these firms is in the 3,500 square kilometers Farsi offshore exploration block in the Persian Gulf of Iran. 

The field holds 23 trillion cubic feet of in-place gas reserves, of which about 60% is recoverable. It also holds gas condensates of about 5,000 barrels per billion cubic feet of gas. 

Although in 2021, it has been reported that Indian firms lost the ONGC discovered the gas field in Iran. Further development is yet to be seen.

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