ONGC Videsh Ltd is looking to ship crude oil from Syria to India after the European Union imposed an embargo on oil imports from the African nation.
OVL's majority owned unit ONGC Nile Ganga BV (ONGBV) holds 16.66% to 18.75% stake in four production sharing contracts, comprising 36 producing onland fields, operated by Syria's Al Furat Petroleum Co, which had to scale down crude oil output due to the EU sanctions.
European Union (EU) countries have imposed sanctions on Syria on September 3 after which European countries having contracts with Syria have stopped importing Syrian crude oil since then, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas R P N Singh told the Lok Sabha here.
"EU oil import sanction prohibits only EU countries from importing Syrian crude oil. OVL is pursuing with Indian refining companies the feasibility of lifting of crude oil from Syria," he said in a written reply to a question.
OVL, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), has stake in AI Furat project in Syria through its joint venture company Himalaya Energy Syria BV.
AI-Furat Petroleum Company (AFPC), the operating company for AI Furat Project in Syria, in which OVL has a stake -- had been producing 85,000 barrels per day. However, after the imposition of sanctions by the EU, all the operators in Syria had to cut down their production as evacuation of crude was getting difficult due to non-availability of shipping vessels as most of them are registered either in Europe or in the US.
AFPC had to cut down its production to the level of 70,500 bopd from the middle of September, 2011. Currently, AFPC is producing 70,500 bopd.
"The output from oilfields of AI Furat project has been reduced by about 17% from mid-September 2011, on the advice of Government of Syria," he said adding the European countries having contracts with Syria have stopped importing Syrian crude oil since September, 2011.
Accordingly, Government of Syria has advised management of AI Furat company to cut down production by about 17% due to these trade sanctions. Presently, the project is producing crude oil and condensate at the rate of 70,500 barrels per day.
ONGBV and Fulin Investments Sarl, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Company International (CNPCI), holds 33.33% to 37.5% participating interest in four Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) comprising 36 producing onland fields in Syria through a Dutch joint venture company, named Himalaya Energy (Syria) BV, wherein ONGBV and Fulin Investments Sarl, hold 50% shareholding each.