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Exxon eyes bigger footprint in India

business Updated: Mar 31, 2010 22:16 IST
Anupama Airy
Anupama Airy
Hindustan Times
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The largest US oil company, ExxonMobil, is actively looking at increasing its presence in India’s oil and gas sector. The company, which has stakes in 37 refineries and oil and gas assets in 38 countries, is keen to team up with state-owned ONGC for jointly exploring oil and gas in India’s hydrocarbon rich Krishna Godavari basin on the east coast.

Speaking exclusively to the Hindustan Times ahead of the ministerial session of the 12th International Energy Forum at Cancun, Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO, ExxonMobil Rex W Tillerson said, “We are already partners with ONGC in Russia and are looking at opportunities for increasing our presence in India.”

Asked if ExxonMobil was keen to enter India’s refining sector, Tillerson said, “I don’t think there is much scope. We were looking at refining business in India some years back but all your big companies like Indian Oil and Reliance have already created huge refining capacities.”

ONGC chairman and managing director, RS Sharma and the managing director of ONGC Videsh Ltd, RS Butola held business meetings with ExxonMobil and confirmed to HT that Tillerson has indicated his keen interest to work with ONGC in its KG basin east coast block.

Sharma said that besides ExxonMobil, even Total of France and Royal Dutch Shell have shown interest in undertaking joint oil and gas opportunities with ONGC, both within India and in other countries.

“Besides, east coast block, Exxon is also keen to explore other oil and gas opportunities with ONGC in third countries. It is a win-win for all and ExxonMobil has been following the same model with China where it has entered into a similar tie up with China’s national oil company,” Butola told Hindustan Times.

The entry of ExxonMobil will be a big positive for India’s energy sector and may draw other big companies in the space to invest in the country’s oil and gas sector.

The author’s travel, boarding and lodging was provided by ONGC Videsh Ltd.

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