Rosneft Eyes Indian LNG Stake

NEW DELHI -- Rosneft, the country's largest crude oil producer, may buy a stake in a liquefied natural gas processing plant planned by Indian state energy firm ONGC in the southern Indian city of Mangalore, a senior Russian official said Wednesday.

India should also consider investing in 12 upcoming oil and gas projects in Siberia and the Far East, Sergei Mikhailov, head of energy policy at the Industry and Energy Ministry, said in New Delhi, where he was accompanying Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov.

"India has investments in Sakhalin-1. That is not sufficient to meet the country's rising energy demand," Mikhailov said. "More opportunities to participate in oil exploration in Siberia and the Far East are coming up. ... Such participation is quite realistic."

Mikhailov said the government was considering the issue and would make a decision soon.

The overseas investment arm of India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, ONGC Videsh, owns 20 percent of the Sakhalin-1 oilfield, operated by U.S. oil major ExxonMobil.

Exxon and its partners, Rosneft, Japan's Itochu and Marubeni and ONGC, have invested more than $12 billion in Sakhalin-1.

ONGC is also looking at participating in the development of the Sakhalin-3 project, a request raised by India during President Vladimir Putin's visit to the country in January 2007.

Bloomberg, Reuters