Monday, October 21, 2013

BHP backs away from India

Mining and Resources

BHP Billiton has surrendered 10 of 11 oil and gas exploration blocks it won in government auctions in India amid speculation the lack of permission to explore from India's defence authorities forced its hand.

"BHP Billiton has exited all its ... blocks (other than the one with BG Group) because of delays in defence clearance," the Mint newspaper quoted a person familiar with the development as saying.
BHP confirmed it has relinquished the acreage without giving any reason.

BHP held a 26 per cent stake in six blocks with local group GVK and 100 per cent interest in a further three blocks, which have all been surrendered.

BHP holds equity in deepwater acreage with BG Group of the UK, which has been retained.


''There was a pending issue with the ministry of defence and no full-scale clearance was given," a petroleum ministry was quoted as saying in the Mint report.

"BHP was raising issues of blanket clearance."
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