Vedanta seeks U.S. oil services consortium for new India blocks

FILE PHOTO: A bird flies past the logo of Vedanta installed on the facade of its headquarters in Mumbai, India January 31, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

HOUSTON (Reuters) – India’s Vedanta Resources (VDNRF.PK) wants U.S. oilfield services companies to set up consortia to help develop the 41 blocks in India acquired this year by its Cairn Oil & Gas unit, the company’s chairman said on Thursday.

Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal and Cairn Chief Executive Sudhir Mathur met with executives from 70 services companies this week in Houston to encourage the firms to organise consortia to compete for contracts, Agarwal said in a briefing.

“They’re very encouraged by the 41 blocks and they’re looking to work together,” Agarwal said.

The company won 41 of the 55 blocks auctioned under India’s first licensing round for small discovered fields earlier this year. It expects the blocks will eventually produce 500,000 barrels per day of oil equivalent, said Mathur.

Some of the acquired blocks are near existing Cairn fields and could be producing as early as 12 months to 18 months after contracts are awarded, he said.

Vedanta hopes to receive offers from companies including Schlumberger NV (SLB.N), Halliburton Co (HAL.N) and General Electric’s Baker Hughes (BHGE.N) by the first quarter of next year, he said.

Vedanta hopes to speed up development of the blocks by getting the oilfield firms to organise consortia that would deliver integrated services. It is hoping to get “at least four” groups to submit bids and will offer incentives to the consortia that can beat production targets, he said.

“If we have one unified team, the decision-making can be faster,” said Mathur. “It will be better to work in a joint fashion.”

Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by Dan Grebler and Marguerita Choy

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