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The move comes despite ONGC facing rejection for its bid to buy Shell‘s 50% stake in the Salym fields in Siberia.
According to one of the sources: “The war will not last forever, nor will the sanctions. We must move to secure our energy supplies.
“We understand the risk and we are willing to take the risk.”
ONGC is assessing bids for ExxonMobil’s 30% stake in the Sakhalin-I project, as well as Shell’s 27.5% interest in the Sakhalin-II project. ONGC already owns a 20% stake in the Sakhalin-I project.
In the recent months, several western oil firms, including BP, Shell, and ExxonMobil, have announced their intention to exit their oil and gas operations in Russia in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
ONGC, Bharat Petroleum, and Oil India also held preliminary discussions over the potential acquisition of BP’s 20% stake in Russia’s Rosneft, the sources added.
Despite this, India continues to purchase Russian oil in addition to seeking stakes in ‘good upstream’ Russian assets at lower price as Western majors look to exit.
One of the sources said: “Buying Russian crude is one thing. In case of sanctions intensifying, you could wind it back in just a couple of months. But investing in upstream could have deeper repercussions, including tougher reactions from the West.”