Indian financial newspaper "The Financial Express" reports that Indian state-owned company ONGC Videsh (OVL) is interested in buying a stake in Israeli gas reserve Leviathan, estmated to contain 21.93 trillion cubic feet of gas.
"The Financial Express" quotes an unnamed official source as saying, “OVL would like to participate in the Leviathan fields and other blocks offered for farm-in in Levantine basin in Israeli waters. Since India has been importing crude oil from West Asian countries such as Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, opportunities in Israel were not pursued so far.”
ONGC Videsh is active in sixteen countries and has invested over $22 billion in gas and oil exploration. The company's CEO refused to say whether it intended to invest in Leviathan, but did say that it was looking for opportunities.
Trade between Israel and India has burgeoned in recent years, notably through some high-profile contracts with Israeli defense companies. A potential deal on Leviathan may also be supported by warmer diplomatic relations: it has recently been reported that the government of prime minister Narendra Modi is considering changing India's diplomatic stance towards Israel by ceasing its automatic support for the Palestinians in the United Nations.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 28, 2014
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