Three state-run Indian oil firms have jointly bid to buy oil-sands assets owned by ConocoPhillips valued at $5 billion, a report said on Monday, as India seeks new energy sources to fuel a growing economy.
The companies have bid for Houston-based ConocoPhillips’s assets in the western Canadian province of Alberta, said an executive at ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas investment arm of ONGC, according to the Dow Jones News Wires.
Separately another executive at state-run Oil India said the bid was submitted at the end of July, Dow Jones reported.
A spokesman at ONGC, India’s largest energy explorer, said he could not immediately make a statement on the report. Spokesmen for the other two companies could not be immediately reached for comment.
Indian media reported earlier this year that a consortium made up of ONGC, Indian Oil and Oil India would put forward an offer for the Canadian oil sand assets.
ConocoPhillips announced early in 2012 it was aiming to sell non-core assets globally as part of a restructuring drive.
It said it was planning to sell up to 50 percent of six of its Alberta properties spread over 715,000 acres that produce 12,000 barrels of oil a day, from an estimated 30 billion barrels of bitumen.
ConocoPhillips has described the properties as a “world-class package of producing, developing and emerging oil sands assets”.
Rival emerging market giant China has made billions of dollars of investments in Alberta’s vast tar sands reserves.
India and China have been scouring the globe for fuel and to lock in long-term supplies to feed their expanding economies, but Beijing with its hefty financial resources has taken the lead, analysts say.
Energy-hungry India imports around 80 percent of its crude oil needs.