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Oil India eyes €800m Cove Energy bid

Oil India, the second-largest state-owned oil explorer in India, is thought to be eyeing up a move for €800m-valued Irish gas-finder Cove Energy. The Indian firm is thought to be examining documents related to the company.

Cove Energy put itself up for sale last week and has opened a data room for potential suitors. Oil India has over €2.2bn in cash reserves, which it has earmarked for buying up oil and gas assets.

However, Oil India is likely to face serious competition from a range of Chinese oil firms, with Chevron and Total also keen to expand in the region.

The Irish company's share price has soared six-fold in just two years since floating on London's aIm market.

Cove owns an 8.5 per cent stake in a hugely lucrative gas field off the coast of Mozambique. Cove's partner Andarko is planning to convert the gas into liquid form in order to ship it to Asian economies such as China and India.

East Africa has become the hottest exploration territory in the world as oil and gas majors fall over each other trying to invest in the region.

John Craven, former CEO of Irish explorer Petroceltic, finance chief Michael Nolan, the ex-boss of Minmet and chairman Michael Blaha may share close to €40m from the sale of Cove Energy.

Sunday Indo Business