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Global oil and gas explorers like PetroChina, Exxon Mobil Corp, Royal Dutch Shell PLC are reportedly in the race for a 20 per cent stake in a Mozambique gas field co-owned by Anadarko Petroleum Corp and Videocon Chairman Venugopal Dhoot.
An information memorandum on the sale was sent to potential bidders in early February and the first round bids are due on March 14, reports indicate.
Dhoot is leading the process and has hired two investment banks to handle the sale of the stake, which is valued at $4.5 billion, reports indicate.
Major oil and gas firms are said to be interested in the Rovuma offshore field because its recent discoveries boosted Mozambique's gas reserves to around 150 trillion cubic feet, enough to supply number one importer Japan for 35 years.
In future, Mozambique may become a dominant supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asia and may compete with Australia and Qatar.
Mozambique has a competitive advantage over America and European countries in supplying LNG to gas-hungry Asian markets due to its proximity, one reason why global energy majors are expected to take active interest in the sale, reports indicate.
Videocon expects about $2.5-$3 billion for its 10 percent stake. Dhoot paid $75 million for the Rovuma 1 stake in 2008. India state-owned refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp owns another 10 per cent stake in gas project.