ONGC Videsh to Get Some Oil from Venezuela

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(Reuters, 3.Jan.2023) — Venezuela has agreed to give some oil to India’s ONGC Videsh to help it recoup its pending $600 million dividend for a stake in a project in the South American nation, India’s oil secretary said on Wednesday.

Indian refiners have resumed purchase of Venezuelan oil following the easing of U.S. sanctions on the South American country last year.

ONGC Videsh (OVL), the overseas investment arm of India’s top explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC.NS), holds 40% stake in the San Cristobal field in eastern Venezuela’s Orinoco Heavy Oil belt, with Venezuela’s state oil company PdVSA holding the remainder.

“They have agreed to give us some oil in lieu of OVL’s dues. We are waiting for (lifting) dates from them,” Oil Secretary Pankaj Jain told reporters in New Delhi.

The company earlier told Reuters in an email on Wednesday that it was exploring options including allocation of oil by PdVSA to repatriate the dividend.

San Cristobal project owes dividend of around $600 million to OVL, the company said.

“Post easing of US sanction, OVL is in continuous dialogue with PdVSA for recovery of accrued dividend by various mechanisms including allocation of crude cargoes in lieu of accrued dividend,” it said.

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Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Writing by Shivam Patel; Editing by Michael Perry

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