India mulls bigger stakes in Russian oilfields – media

New Delhi would like to preserve and expand its stakes in the Sakhalin-1 project

India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is deploying additional staff to play a bigger role in operating the Sakhalin-1 oil field after ExxonMobil pulled out, The Times of India reported on Friday. The company holds a 20% stake in the energy project, located in the Russian Far East.

According to the report, ONGC’s overseas investment arm, OVL, offered to send more personnel with the appropriate expertise to partially fill the void, after US energy giant ExxonMobil announced in March its intention to quit oil and gas operations in Russia due to Western sanctions.

ONGC also expressed hope that its stake in the Russian project will not be affected in the event of a possible reorganization of Sakhalin-1 by Moscow, just as happened with the neighboring Sakhalin-2 project.

« I hope it doesn’t affect us…our relationship is too strong and it’s been going on for too long, » CGSB President Alka Mittal told Reuters on Thursday.

READ MORE: Indian imports of Russian oil skyrocket – media

ONGC is also considering buying additional stakes in Russia’s oil and gas fields from Western firms considering leaving the country, media reported earlier, indicating that the firm planned to bid for the 30% stake in Russia. Exxon in Sakhalin-1 and Shell’s 27.5% stake in the Sakhalin-2 Project.

Major Western oil companies, such as BP, Shell and ExxonMobil, recently announced their intention to end their oil and gas activities in Russia due to Western sanctions.

Meanwhile, India continued to increase its purchases of Russian oil and invest in the country’s energy sector.

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