After re-negotiating the Qatar LNG deal that will benefit India by Rs 20,000 crore over the next few years, the Union oil and gas minister, Dharmendra Pradhan is trying to recover save $600 million or close to Rs 4,000 crore of past dues of ONGC from Venezuela’s San Cristobel oilfield.
ONGC’s global subsidiary–ONGC Videsh Ltd owns 40% of the San Cristobal oilfield but has not been paid for its share of oil sales for last couple of years.
OVL, in 2008, had invested about $190 million in the project where state-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) holds the remaining 51% stake.
Towards this Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan met the visiting Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez and Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino on August 18 and discussed the recovery of ONGC’s dues along with a host of other bilateral energy issues.
Reviewed bilateral energy issues including payment of dues; training of personnel & ways to expand ties. pic.twitter.com/69wYPyLQ0A
— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) August 18, 2016
As India imports sufficient quantities of crude oil from Venezuela, one option as per sources that has been proposed to the Venezuelan authorities is that India could recover these dues from payments it makes for oil imports from Venezuela.
Venezuela is India’s fourth largest source of crude oil, supplying some 23.6 million tons or 12 per cent of the country’s annual import in 2015-16.