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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Delhi Pulls LUKoil Into Kazakh Bid

NEW DELHI -- India's Oil & National Gas Corp. is seeking help from LUKoil to find ways to acquire PetroKazakhstan, which has agreed to be taken over by China National Petroleum Corp., Indian officials said on Thursday.

PetroKazakhstan, a Canadian-listed firm operating in Central Asia, said earlier in the week it had agreed to be bought by China National Petroleum Corp., or CNPC, for $4.18 billion. But Oil and Natural Gas Corp., or ONGC, also in the race, said it had not given up hope.

PetroKazakhstan has a rocky relationship with the Kazakh authorities and has fallen out with LUKoil, its partner in a joint venture in Kazakhstan.

State-run ONGC has sent the managing director of its overseas subsidiary to Moscow to hold talks.

"We are exploring all options. We will hold talks with LUKoil, but we have not made any decision about a counter-bid so far," said an ONGC official, who did not want to be named, adding it was debating the commercial merits of trying to outbid the Chinese state oil company.

A senior official from India's oil ministry is also in Moscow, but a source said the government was not likely to intervene immediately in the matter.

"Right now, it is for ONGC to deal with the situation. We will intervene only if we think our intervention will make a difference," a senior government official said.