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Essar, Petro Vietnam hold JV talks

Swaraj Baggonkar  |  Mumbai 

The Group is in talks with PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation (PEVP), a Vietnam-based, state-owned company, for jointly exploring oil and gas opportunities. The joint venture will cover Vietnam and other countries, where PEVP has interests in oil blocks.
Both the parties are working on a proposed memorandum of understanding (MoU) before getting into the venture. An MoU is expected to be signed in the coming few weeks.
Nguyen Van Minh, president, PEVP, said, "We will be signing an MoU with the Group shortly. The explorations will not remain restricted to onshore, but will include offshore as well."
The officials said though the group was looking at growth opportunities, it was premature to comment on the Vietnamese project.
Sources close to the development said the group would invest in the project through Energy Holdings (EEHL), a part of the group's overseas investment vehicle, Global.
The Ruias, promoters of the Group, hosted a dinner yesterday at their south Mumbai residence to honour the visiting Vietnamese Prime Minister, H E Nguyen Tan Dung.
The Group, which recently announced an investment of $527 million to set up a 2-million tonne steel mill in Vietnam, also discussed other business opportunities with the Vietnamese delegation.
Energy has participating interests in several hydrocarbon blocks for exploration and production of oil and gas in Mehsana in Gujarat, Cachar in Assam, Myanmar, three onshore oil and gas blocks in Madagascar, Africa, and an offshore block in Nigeria.
Recently, Oil was learnt to be raising $100 million through external commercial borrowings for expansion and upgrade of its crude oil refinery in Khambalia, Gujarat, from the existing 10.5 million tonne per annum (mtpa) to 16 mtpa over the next two years. The company is in discussions with ICICI Bank for the purpose.