Unmoved by Chinese objections, the ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) and Petro Vietnam — state-owned exploration and production companies of India and Vietnam-are likely to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on strategic cooperation.
Signing of the pact is expected to be one of the many outcomes in terms of agreements when Vietnam President Truong Tan Sang visits India in the second week of October.
India will also announce more line of credit, above the existing Rs 300 crore and besides opening more information technology (IT) parks in Vietnam.
Many agreements in the areas of trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation are also likely to be inked during Sang's visit.
External affairs minister SM Krishna held long discussions with Sang on the entire facet of the bilateral ties during his visit to Vietnam.
The MoU between OVL and Petro Vietnam in the nature of a "strategic cooperation" also means undertaking of more exploration projects, which can irk China with its position that it enjoys "undisputed territorial sovereignty over South China sea."
Hindustan Times had earlier reported about India asking China to back off from its protest over the OVL's plans to explore Vietnamese oil blocks.
Energy security has been placed as a top item in the bilateral agenda despite serious warnings from China.
“Energy security is among top priorities. OVL has been there in Vietnam for the past 10 years. Now it is planning to sign a MoU for strategic cooperation to take the ties with Petro Vietnam forward,” said an Indian official.
In fact, the OVL investment accounts for almost half of India's 400 million UIS $ investment in Vietnam.