Energy stocks are trading in the red. Essar Oil and Indraprastha Gas are the biggest losers while Gas Authority Of India Limited (GAIL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) are the biggest winners. According to a leading financial daily, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) will buy 10% stake of Cairn India in a gas-discovery block that sits next to Reliance Industries KG-D6 area in the Bay of Bengal. Cairn India had made four discoveries in the Krishna Godavari basin block KG-DWN-98/2 and in 2005 wanted to sell 100% of its stake in the area to ONGC. But ONGC bought only 90% as it wanted to utilise Cairn India's expertise and knowledge in exploiting the resource in the block. ONGC will pay whatever past cost Cairn India had invested in the block as past cost. Cairn's share of past cost comes to USD $47 m. ONGC proposes to invest over USD $7.3 bn to produce up to 30 million standard cubic meters per day of gas.
Aluminium stocks are trading weak led by Hindalco and Nalco. According to a leading financial daily, a consortium of three state-owned miners led by National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) is planning to submit expressions of interest for exploration of gold and copper reserves in Afghanistan. The consortium, which includes Hindustan Copper and Mineral Exploration Corporation has written to the union mines ministry seeking inter-ministerial coordination. The last date for submission of expression of interest is March 16, 2012 and the Afghanistan government will announce the shortlist of bidders on March 23, after which it will invite financial bids. The detailed structure of the consortium, including stakes to be held by the partners, will be decided later.