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Indian govt approves more oil exploration in Sudan

8/12/2005 6:24am

NEW DELHI Aug 11, 2005 (PTI) — The Indian Government today cleared the decks for ONGC Videsh (OVL) to invest an additional USD 100 million for exploration of an oil block in Sudan, enabling the exploration company to get first oil in March next year.

The Cabinet Committe on Economic Affairs approved the propoal to authorize OVL to go ahead with the development plan of thar jath field and incur its pro-rata share of the exploration budget for 2004-04 in respect of Block 5A, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister S Jaipal Reddy told reporters here.

Briefing newspersons, he said the ex-post facto approval to OVL to make an additional investment of up to USD 100 million as its share of development and expenditure of Thar Jath Field in Block 5A, including common facilities between Thar Jath and Mala Field.

Today’s decision will also make investment in developmnt activities in Block 5A Sudan for getting first oil in March 2006, the Minister said.

This investment, the Minister pointed out has already been authorized by the Empowered Committee of Secretaries, in accordance with the approval given by the Government earlier.

The Cabinet also authorized OVL to incur exploration expenditure during teh year 2005 up to USD 47 million as this xceeds the delegated power of OVL Board of directors as effective on the date of the meeting of the ECS on 17th Januar this year and is also not covered by the revenue generated by the Block, Reddy said.

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