January 16, 2012 / 12:17 PM / in 6 years

Oil India in talks with Conoco for shale gas assets

NEW DELHI, Jan 16 (Reuters) - India’s state-run explorer Oil India is in talks with U.S.-based companies, including ConocoPhillips, to buy stake in shale gas assets in the U.S., its head of finance T.K. Ananth Kumar said on Monday.

“We are in talks with some of the US-based companies and ConocoPhillips is one of them. They have met us,” Kumar told Reuters.

ConocoPhillips could not be immediately reached for comment.

Ananth Kumar said his company is looking for a minority stake of between 20-30 percent in U.S. shale acreage with an investment of about $200 million.

Oil India is looking for acreage near Eagle Ford (Texas), the Mint newspaper reported on Monday, quoting the company’s chairman N.M. Borah.

Oil India was looking at buying shale gas assets in Latin America, the United States and Australia, Borah said in November.

The United States is the world’s top producer of shale gas, a natural gas locked in rock formations considered a top source of future energy.

Indian companies, including Reliance Industries Ltd. and GAIL (India) Ltd., have bought shale gas assets in the U.S. as local gas supplies lag demand.

India aims to launch its shale gas exploration policy this year, Oil Minister Jaipal Reddy said in October.

Conoco has leased 220,000 acres in the Eagle Ford shale play in South Texas and 460,000 acres in the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana.

Last year, it also entered into an agreement to buy a majority stake in Goldwyer shale gas project of Australia’s Standard Energy in Western Australia’s Canning Basin.

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