ONGC Videsh, a subsidiary of Oil and Natural Gas Corp, plans to list in New York by 2005 when a giant Russian field in which it has a 20-per cent stake starts production, a top official said yesterday.

"We should get listed on the New York Stock Exchange by 2005," ONGC Videsh Managing Director Atul Chandra said. "Then you are a real international player. You have access to funds."

Chandra said from 2004, he expected net profit to rise tenfold to Rs2.5 billion from Rs240 million in the year ended March 31 because of income from a gas project in Vietnam in which it has a 45-per cent share.

"We start generating profits of more than Rs2.5 billion from 2004 from this property alone." He said he expected profit to soar after the Russian field, Sakhalin-1, began production in 2005.

"My business plan says, only with the projects which are signed already, we should be generating profits of 25 billion rupees ($530 million) a year by 2010."

Meanwhile, overseas ventures of India's ONGC Videsh will produce at least six million tonnes of oil and four to five million tonnes of gas a year by 2010, Chandra said.

"Total oil and gas production abroad from contracts already signed will be about 10-12 million tonnes a year by 2010," Chandra told Reuters in an interview.

In addition, the firm had been offered attractive exploration blocks, which could yield another five million tonnes of oil. "So we should be looking at 15 million tonnes."

He said the firm had been offered new exploration blocks in Iraq, Venezuela, Algeria and Indonesia.

ONGC Videsh hopes to pump about 2.5 million tonnes of oil from its 20 per cent stake in the Sakhalin-1 field in the Russian far east, which will start production in 2005, he said. "Plus since the Russians are taking a loan and I will get an equivalent quantity of oil as repayment of loan for five-six years," he said.

The company signed an agreement in February this year to buy a 20 per cent share in Sakhalin-1. Russia's national oil company Rosneft also holds a 20 per cent stake, but the ONGC will be financing its investments, which will be repaid in oil.

Chandra said the firm had agreed to lend $600-700 million to the Russian firm with an interest rate of three per cent above Libor. The company will spend about $350 million a year for the next four years for its share and the loan, Chandra said.

ONGC Videsh also has a 45-per cent share in a gas field in Vietnam with estimated reserves of 2.04 trillion cubic feet. "Our Vietnam property has a value of $260 million today. We will start production by the end of next year," he said.

The company got an exploration block in Iraq last year. "It's a very big exploration block, very prospective, where oil has already been discovered."

It is negotiating for another project in Iraq, and one in Algeria, where oil has already been struck, he said.

ONGC Videsh has also been offered an exploration block in Venezuella, two in Libya and one in Indonesia. "These have already been offered to us. We just have to say yes or no."

The company's overseas operations are expected to offset India's declining crude oil production. India, which pumps about 30 million tonnes per year of crude, imports about 70 per cent of its oil needs.

Output has fallen from 34 million tonnes six years ago.