China’s largest government-owned energy firm, China National Petroleum Corp, (CNPC) and India’s biggest state-run oil and gas explorer Oil and natural Gas Corp (ONGC) have joined hands and signed an agreement to jointly explore oil and gas assets overseas.
“Efforts are on to work out a joint strategy to counter the ongoing surge in global oil prices,” said a senior ministry official. “Although we both are rivals but energy security is a key concern for both the countries.”
A delegation of senior officials from CNPC is in New Delhi to hold commercial discussions with Indian oil PSUs including ONGC, IOC and GAIL. CNPC’s team has also met petroleum minister Jaipal Reddy.
The meeting assumes significance as it comes immediately after last week’s OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) meet in Vienna, where both India and China were seen sharing their concerns over rising oil prices.
As aggressive bidding by China and India is pushing the value of overseas oil and gas assets, the two will look at submitting joint bids for potential oil and gas assets.
“We think it is better to cooperate than compete,” said Dinesh Sarraf, managing director, ONGC Videsh Ltd.
OVL is already working with CNPC to build an onshore gas transportation pipeline in Myanmar. The two are also working at Al Furat in Syria, where the partners jointly hold stakes in 36 producing fields as well as on the Greater Nile oil project in Sudan.