India Cleared for Russian Energy Purchase

It’s always fun when BRICs invest in other BRICs. Today India’s state-owned energy firm ONGC has been cleared by Russia’s anti-monopoly service for a $2.6 billion takeover Imperial Energy. It will be interesting to see if this state-owned company will face the same inhospitable treatment of so many other private sector energy firms, or whether it will be a “preferential” relationship. Likely the former:

India’s biggest oil producer agreed the takeover of Imperial in late August. The deal marks ONGC’s second investment in Russia, where the company already has a 20 percent stake in the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas consortium headed by U.S. major Exxon. State-owned ONGC beat China’s Sinopec to snatch the oil explorer, whose assets are mainly in the Tomsk region of Siberia. Industry sources close to the deal have said the Kremlin would likely expect ONGC to sell a stake on to a Russian state oil group, such as Rosneft. Such a move would follow a recent pattern of the state-backed giants winning major stakes in big, formerly privatised energy assets.