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India’s GAIL has planned to acquire a 10 per cent to 30 per cent stake in Ophir Energy’s five natural gas blocks offshore Tanzania

While the exact value of the deal has not been revealed, GAIL company sources have said that the acquisition of a 10 per cent stake in these acreages could entail an outgo of around US$600mn for the gas distribution major.

An unnamed GAIL official added, “We are targeting East Africa and the US for more natural gas assets. East Africa offers us geographical advantage owing to its proximity with India, while the US shale boom has opened up various investment opportunities.”

Ophir Energy has interests in five blocks with an area of 33,078 sq km in water depths up to 3,000 metres. The company has a 40 per cent interest in Blocks 1, 3 and 4 with BG Group holding the remaining, an 80 per cent operating interest in Block 7 and a 70 per cent operating interest in East Pande.

GAIL has reportedly been aggressively acquiring assets overseas in order to secure LNG supply for India as demand for natural gas is outstripping domestic production of gas.



Ophir Energy discovers gas offshore Tanzania