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  Videocon  to  buy   76%   in   Sudan   oil   fields

The Videocon Group plans to acquire up to 76% share in one or more oil fields in Sudan with an initial investment of $ 100m.

Videocon International Chairman Mr. V. N. Dhoot was in Sudan earlier this week, where he inked a MoU on mutual co-operation with the Khartoum state of the Republic of Sudan for investing and developing projects in the oil sector.

Mr. V.N. Dhoot confirmed that he has "almost" finalized an arrangement for exploration of crude oil through a joint venture in Sudan. He said that the amount of investment would depend on the total project cost, which is being worked out by a team of oil experts in London. Videocon Industries is likely to pick up between 24% and 76% in various oil fields in Sudan, he added. The MoU was signed by Abdelhalem Ismail Almutaafi, the governor of Khartoum State of the Republic of Sudan, and Mr. Dhoot.

Mr. Dhoot said a technical team would soon travel to Sudan to identify the areas in the Sudanese oil business in which Videocon could participate. "The whole process will take time as we have to follow the rules and regulations in Sudan that apply to business and foreign investments" Mr. Dhoot Said.

He added that the arrangements in Sudan were broadly in line with the strategy of the group to pursue its oil and gas interests, both nationally and internationally. He said Videocon International would also look for similar arrangements in other oil -reach destinations such as former Soviet Union, West Asia and Africa.

Videocon is a $ 1.5bn group, which focuses on manufacturing and marketing of consumer durables. It also has a growing interest in the energy sector in India. Petrcon India, formerly Videocon Petroleum, a Videocon group company, is part of the consortium that operates the Ravva oil field in the Krishna - Godavari basin. Ravva is one of the major JV fields, producing around 50,000 barrels per day of oil. It is operated by Cairn and has one of the lowest operating costs in the world, with a cost of production less than $ 1 per barrel of crude oil produced.

The Economic Times 15th April 2005
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