Project Description

The unrest in Sudan and South Sudan has thrown ONGC’s thriving oil business in Africa out of gear.

The outbreak of conflict in South Sudan last December led to the shut down of India’s multi-billion dollar oil project in the young country. The instability sent Indian diplomats scrambling to play damage control as ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the international arm of India’s national oil company, was forced to evacuate its personnel from the region.

After a decade of rapid growth in the international oil industry, India’s overseas ventures are buckling under pressure from unstable politics and conflict. India’s experience of investing in oil in Sudan and South Sudan offers three takeaways. First, investing dangerously has produced tremendous payoffs. By entering countries such as Sudan and Syria, from which American oil companies were sanctioned and European competition generally avoided, India’s OVL has become an international player Even though ONGC had mulled over dismantling the subsidiary in the late 1990s due to its poor performance.

Read the rest of the article at The Hindu

Photo credit: Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier