Following reports published on Monday that a trio of Indian state-run oil companies had placed a $5 billion bid for stakes in ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP)’ Canadian assets; responses from the concerned parties have begun surfacing. The trio, which comprises of Oil Limited India, Indian Oil Corporation Limited (NSE:IOC), and Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Limited (NSE:ONGC), would have been the first Indian energy companies to bid on the Canadian asset.
However, the bid is no longer certain, after reports from Oil and Natural Gas disputed the news, saying it was not a part of any $5 billion asset deal. “I can categorically say that we have not made a bid yet for the $5 billion deal,” noted Sudhir Vasudeva, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Limited (NSE:ONGC) managing director and chairperson.
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Despite the failed mention of specific deals and dates, Vasudeva confirmed the company’s search for overseas investment. Vasudeva, who was talking to the Press Trust of India, was the only executive of the three companies- at the time of writing- who had reached out to the press.
Over at ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), the company chose to remain neutral on the matter. Davy Kong, the company spokeswoman, noted that the company was typical of withholding its comments on mere market rumors. We do not comment on market rumors,” she said.
Despite Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Limited (NSE:ONGC) denying the bid, it is going to take more than press statements to convince the market. A well placed source within ONGC’s overseas investment wing categorically noted that the company had placed a bid alongside Oil India and Indian Oil Corp. Another undisclosed source at Oil India further added that the bid was submitted towards the end of July, suggesting a clandestine approach.
All this controversy comes after the government told state firms to secure oversea energy assets, in light of the country’s diminishing output. As it is, India’s energy demand is higher than its current energy output. All this is happening as the country struggles to attain the expected 6.5 percent economical growth rate this year.