Another strand is playing out in the saga over Kazakh oil and gas: the government in Astana has decided against increasing its stake in the enormous Kashagan oil field as ConocoPhillips exits the project.
None of the other international majors involved appear willing to increase their exposure to what is turning out to be the world’s most expensive oil development, ever. That leaves Kazakhstan to play India and China off against each other for access to Kashagan’s vast oil reserves. Continue reading »
On the face of it, ONGC‘s decision to splash out $5bn on a minority share in the giant Kashagan oil field in Kazakhstan makes sense, given the Indian national oil company’s pressing need to build up strategic oil reserves. But analysts dissecting the company’s most expensive ever overseas acquisition say the deal is fraught with risk and smacks of desperation. Continue reading »
ConocoPhillips is in the middle of a long-standing streamlining programme, so there was little surprise on Monday when it announced the disposal of a chunky $5.5bn asset – its stake in Kazakhstan’s vast Kashagan field.
But the buyer’s name came as a shock. Given the enthusiasm of president Nursultan Nazarbayev (pictured) for Kazakhs to own more of the country’s mineral wealth, it had been expected that ConocoPhilips might sell to a Kazakh state group – for example, KazMunaiGas, the energy company, which expressed an interest only last month. Instead the purchaser is ONGC, the Indian state oil group. Continue reading »
Three months after it put itself up for sale, Cove Energy – the UK listed company with interests in Mozambique’s huge natural gas fields – said on Tuesday it had accepted a bid from Royal Dutch Shell of 220p a share, valuing the company at £1.12bn ($1.94bn).
In a joint statement, the companies said: “The formal sale process has now been concluded.” But they added: “Other potential offerors can still nonetheless announce competing offers for Cove.” Will PTT Exploration, the state-controlled Thai energy group which had already offered 220p a share, rise to the bait? Continue reading »
By Shriram Subramanian of InGovern
The letter sent by The Children’s Investment Fund (TCI) to Coal India is a wakeup call for the Indian government, companies and institutional investors to take corporate governance issues seriously. Probably for the first time in Indian corporate history, an institutional investor has threatened to sue individual board members of a listed entity. Continue reading »
The price tag on Cove Energy, the UK-listed oil and gas company that has a stake in Mozambique’s biggest gas field, just went up.
Cove, which has at least three potential buyers banging on its doors, said on Wednesday that it was “delighted” to confirm a big increase in proven reserves in Mozambique’s Rovuma offshore gas basin, where it has an 8.5 per cent stake.
Shareholders will be even more delighted if the bidders start raising their offers. With bids of $1.7bn bid, from Thailand’s PTT Exploration & Production, and $1.6bn from Royal Dutch Shell, and an expression of interest from India’s state-run resources companies, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and GAIL India, the auction is well under way. Continue reading »
Bashneft, Russia’s seventh biggest oil producer, has announced terms for the long-awaited consolidation of its downstream subsidiaries that should help pave the way for the company to attract strategic investors.
Although not large by Russian oil standards, Bashneft has some juicy assets to tempt international oil majors scouring the world for new reserves. And it’s not state-controlled. Continue reading »
The Indian government has, perhaps, no better friend than the Life Insurance Corporation. The 100 per cent state-owned investor is always ready to help out in a tight spot – as it did in last week’s chaotic sale of a stake in ONGC, the country’s largest oil company, counted as a success by the government but almost nobody else.
That was far from the first time the LIC has come to its owner’s rescue. Continue reading »
A 2012 market rally in India faces three big tests of its resilience, starting this week.
Investor confidence in Asia’s third largest economy has built up on assumptions of a run of good news in coming days: a strong showing for the ruling Congress party in five state elections when results come out on March 6, relaxation of monetary policy on March 15 and a purposeful national budget on March 16. Continue reading »