"The Najwat oilfield is estimated to hold 300 million barrels of oil reserves," RS Butola, managing director of Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) Videsh, told the Press Trust of India news agency on Wednesday.

  

Butola said the Indian firm edged out a dozen companies to nail the contract.

  

On Tuesday ONGC Videsh and its US partner won exploration rights for an oilfield at north Ramadan in Egypt.

 

Major hunt

  

India, which is projected to become a global economic powerhouse in the next two decades, has launched a major hunt for foreign oil to keep fuelling its growth.

  

Only 30% of India's oil needs are met from domestic sources and this proportion is expected to halve as the country's appetite for energy grows as it continues to expand.

  

ONGC Videsh has already invested $2.5 billion in Russia's Sakhalin-I project, in gasfields in Iran, in Vietnam, Sudan and in a number of other countries.

  

It is now looking to invest at least $3 billion more to buy stakes in oilfields and gasfields in several other nations including Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Yemen and Ecuador.