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Indian oil firm in acquisition of oilfield

India's largest state-run oil firm has acquired a major stake in the largest oilfield discovered so far this century.

27 November 2012

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), an Indian state-run firm, is to acquire a $5 billion (£3.1 billion) stake in the largest oilfield discovered since the 1960s from ConocoPhillips.

The stake, worth 8.4 per cent of the Kashagan oil field in Kazakhstan, will enable ONGC to increase its production, helping India meet its need for oil, of which it now imports 80 per cent.

At the same time, the deal clinched in the sales negotiations continues a process by which ConocoPhillips has been able to cut debts and invest more in shale oil and gas, using the proceeds raised by selling off assets.

The Kashagan field lies under the Caspian Sea and holds an estimated 30 billion barrels of oil, the largest quantity discovered since 1968. Of these, experts believe eight to 12 million can be recovered.

In May this year, ConocoPhillips declared that it had become the "world’s largest independent exploration and production company" with the completion of the sale of its downstream business to shareholders, based on its reserves and proven production capacity.

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