ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas investment arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), has rejected Venezuela’s offer for additional stake in an oilfield as it fears the Latin American nation may use it as an excuse to not pay USD 449 million of past dues, a top official said. State oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) had last year offered a 9 per cent stake in the San Cristobal field to OVL. OVL already holds a 40 per cent stake in the field, which produces around 18,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd).
“Cash-strapped PDVSA hasn’t been able to pay our dues and the additional stake may be used to settle the dues. We don’t think that is what we want. We want our dues to be cleared first,” the official, who wished not to be identified, said. OVL, he said, has declined the offer for an additional stake.