OVL, Oil India ‘chase Murphy assets’

ONGC Videsh (OVL) and Oil India have submitted a joint bid valued at $1.5 billion for stakes in the Malaysian assets of Murphy Oil, according to a report.

OVL, the overseas arm of Indian state-owned giant Oil & Natural Gas Corporation, and its compatriot could be vying for a combined stake of up to 30% in the assets, Reuters reported, quoting anonymous sources.

Murphy had earlier invited bids for its oil and gas assets in the South-East Asian country.

"If successful, ONGC, India's largest oil and gas exploration company, will own a 20% stake in the assets, while Oil India would own the remaining 10%," the report claimed.

Sources suggested that the bid value is preliminary and is subject to change.

Murphy's net oil and gas production from Malaysia was about 86,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day last year, with total proven reserves of 125 million barrels of oil and 406 billion cubic feet of gas, the Reuters report claimed.

Following the big ticket acquisition of Russia's Imperial Energy by OVL in 2009, the Indian giant gained momentum last year, with more than $5 billion of acquisitions globally.

OVL's most aggressive acquisition last year was a 20% stake in the Rovuma Area 1 offshore block in Mozambique valued at $5 billion plus, along with compatriot Oil India.

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