NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s top explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp has signed a memorandum of understanding with French major TotalEnergies for exploration of deep-water blocks, the company tweeted on Monday.
India, the world’s third biggest oil importer and consumer, ships in over 85% of its oil from overseas. The country wants to quickly monetise its oil and gas resources to reduce its reliance on costly imports.
The MoU seeks to provide technical help for ONGC’s push to explore and reduce green house emissions in development of deep-water blocks especially in Mahanadi and Andamans, off India’s east coast.
“We will jointly evaluate Exploration and Development opportunities to create synergies with local economies,” said Sushma Rawat, ONGCs’ Director for Exploration.
ONGC last year signed heads of agreement with U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil Copr for deep-water exploration on the country’s east and west coasts.
The tie-up with Exxon focuses on the Krishna Godavari and Cauvery basins in the eastern offshore region and the Kutch-Mumbai region in the western offshore area.
Exxon is also keen to buy a stake in some of the local deepwater blocks of ONGC, former oil secretary Tarun Kapoor said.
(Reporting by Nidhi Verma, editing by Ed Osmond)