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India Makes Bid for Kazakh Oil Firm

August 17, 2005 Bloomberg
India's Oil & Natural Gas Corporation and steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal offered to buy PetroKazakhstan, the third-largest oil producer in Kazakhstan with a market value of $3.3 billion, to boost the South Asian nation's supply.

The Indian company submitted a bid Monday, chairman Subir Raha said by telephone on Tuesday.

More than one offer was received, Calgary-based PetroKazakhstan said in a statement, without giving details. PetroChina's Hong Kong-based spokesman Mao Zefeng would not comment on reports that the Chinese company's parent may have bid.

The takeover target accounts for about 12 percent of oil production in Kazakhstan, which has 3.3 percent of the world's reserves. India and China are trying to overcome stagnating output from their aging fields by securing supplies overseas. China's CNOOC this month withdrew an $18.5 billion bid for U.S.-based Unocal because of political opposition.

"India and China, above all countries, have been the most aggressive in looking for assets overseas over the past few years," said Jon Thorn, who manages $180 million at India Capital Fund in Hong Kong. "They have huge, increasing domestic demand for oil."

Oil & Natural Gas, India's largest oil explorer, joined Mittal, controller of the world's biggest steelmaker, in the bid for PetroKazakhstan, the Indian company's finance director, R.S. Sharma, said Tuesday.

The Indian and Chinese companies join Chevron and other producers in seeking acquisitions this year to bolster output and reserves as oil prices gained 42 percent in 12 months, reaching a record $67.10 per barrel in New York on Aug. 12. PetroKazakhstan, based in Calgary, Canada, said it had received acquisition proposals and was now assessing them. It will not identify the bidders, the value of the bids or how long it may take to evaluate the offers, spokesman Ihor Wasylkiw said Monday.

PetroChina's parent, China National Petroleum Corporation, may bid for PetroKazakhstan, the Financial Times said, citing unidentified people
Company — PetroKazakhstan
  • Full name
    PetroKazakhstan Inc.
  • Industry
    Oil and gas