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Cabinet May Consider Cairn-Vedanta Deal Next Wk

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The cabinet may consider approval for the sale of a stake of British oil explorer Cairn Energy's India unit to Vedanta Resources next week, Oil Minister S. Jaipal Reddy said on Friday.

Cairn agreed in August to sell up to 51 per cent of Cairn India for up to $9.6 billion to Vedanta Resources, in a deal which originally had a cut-off date of May 20.

The deal has been delayed due to a dispute over royalty payments with Cairn India's partner in the Rajasthan project, state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp.

Reddy also said the government was considering a proposed deal between India's largest listed firm Reliance Industries which wants to sell a stake in 23 of its oil and gas blocks, including some in the KG basin, to BP in a $7.2 billion transaction.

The minister also said no dates had yet been fixed for a meeting of a ministerial panel to consider increasing fuel prices. He said he was concerned at the under-recoveries of state-run oil marketing firms due to higher global crude prices.

(Reuters)