GAIL in talks to buy stake in Tanzania gas block

fs_53122New Delhi : State-run gas distributor GAIL India said Tuesday that it is in talks to acquire Ophir Energy’s 10 percent stake in gas blocks in Tanzania.

“We are in talks, irrespective of Singapore’s Pavilion Energy reportedly buying half of Ophir’s stake. We continue to be in dialogue,” said Prabhat Singh, marketing director for GAIL, here on the sidelines of 8th Asia Gas Partnership Summit organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The three gas blocks in offshore Tanzania are estimated to have around 15 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves.

Pavilion Energy had announced the acquisition in November saying the transaction is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2014.

The company said it has “entered into an agreement to purchase 20 percent interest in Tanzania blocks 1, 3 and 4 from Ophir Energy for a consideration of $1.288 billion”.

BG Group is the operator of the three blocks with 60 percent stake.

State-run explorer ONGC’s foreign arm, ONGC Videsh Ltd, has this year acquired 20 percent stake in a gas block in offshore Mozambique for over $5 billion.