Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Assam Company may get 100% stake.

Guwahati, Nov. 16: The Assam government has asked the Centre to re-allocate Canoro Resources Ltd’s “cancelled” stake in Amguri oil block to Assam Hydrocarbon & Energy Company Ltd to increase its hold over the state’s hydrocarbon industry.

A source in the industries and commerce department said the government had requested the Union ministry of petroleum and natural gas to give the AHECL the Amguri block when it comes up for sale. Assam had set up the AHECL in 2006 to explore and harvest the huge reserves of oil and natural gas in the state.

“If we manage to acquire Canoro’s 60 per cent stake in the Amguri field, the company’s portfolio will gain significant weight,” the source said.

The CRL owns 60 per cent stake and is the block operator with Assam Company India Ltd holding the balance 40 per cent.

In August, the Union ministry of petroleum and natural gas had issued termination order to Canadian explorer Canoro Resources Ltd for Amguri field, saying it had violated Article 29.2 of production sharing contract (PSC) by not seeking the government’s consent before making a “material change” in the shareholding of the company.

The ministry stated in the letter, “The contravention of the production sharing contract provision has been viewed very seriously and you are called upon to explain as to why the contract, in respect of the contract area identified as Amguri field, should not be terminated.”

Sources said the Canadian company had gone to Delhi High Court which had issued a stay on the termination order, implying that Canoro will continue to hold its 60 per cent stake until a decision is taken on the matter.

Sources in the Assam Company India Ltd said the ministry will look into the status of the Assam Hydrocarbon and Energy Company Ltd before taking the final decision as the AHECL is a new company .


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