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ONGC, Oil India Said to Bid for Stake in Mozambique Gas Deposit

Oil & Natural Gas Corp. and Oil India Ltd., Indian state-run energy companies, made a joint bid to buy a 20 percent stake in a Mozambique gas field, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

ONGC and Oil India bid for shares being sold by Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Videocon Industries Ltd. today, the person said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The sellers are divesting 10 percent each in the Rovuma-1 offshore block.

Energy companies from Asia, Europe and North America have flocked to East Africa after oil explorers made the world’s biggest gas discoveries in a decade in Mozambique’s waters. Rovuma-1 holds more in potential reserves than Libya has in proven deposits, according to data from The Woodlands, Texas-based Anadarko, the operator of the block.

ONGC Chairman Sudhir Vasudeva, Oil India Chairman S.K. Srivastava and Videocon Chairman Venugopal Dhoot didn’t answer phone calls seeking comment. John Christiansen, a spokesman for Anadarko, declined to comment.

Videocon, which runs businesses from television manufacturing to mobile-phone services in India, agreed to pay $75 million for a stake in the Rovuma-1 area in 2008. Bharat Petroleum Corp., India’s second-largest state refiner, owns 10 percent of the block, meaning an acquisition by ONGC and Oil India would raise state control to 30 percent.

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