New Delhi, Aug 17 (PTI) State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on Wednesday signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) with global oil giant ExxonMobil Corp for exploration of oil and gas in the deepsea on the country’s east and west coasts.
The two oil explorers would focus on the Krishna Godavari and Cauvery basins in the eastern offshore and the Kutch-Mumbai region in the western offshore, ONGC said in a release.
It, however, did not elaborate on the nature of the partnership and if ExxonMobil will buy a stake in any of the blocks of ONGC.
“Collaboration between ONGC and ExxonMobil will be a strategic fit where ONGC’s knowledge and past experience in these areas will be coupled with ExxonMobil’s global insights,” the release said.
With its import dependence rising to 85 per cent for meeting oil needs, India has been seeking technical and financial support from global oil majors to find newer resources and raise domestic production.
ONGC, the nation’s top oil and gas producer, has been in talks with ExxonMobil for several months now to explore a partnership.
The two firms had in 2019 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to undertake joint studies. That pact included working on deepwater and other licenses of ONGC on the east and west coasts and jointly bidding for acreage offered in future bid rounds.
ONGC’s Head of Exploration Rajesh Kumar Srivastava said his company is looking for a “long-lasting partnership with Exxon”.
“Through the discovery route, ONGC hopes to move to development wherein the inherent strength of ExxonMobil would be beneficial for efficient fast-track monetization,” he said. “This will enable ONGC to ensure steps towards energy security for India.”
ExxonMobil India’s CEO and Lead Country Manager Monte K Dobson said, “It’s an exciting opportunity to collaborate with ONGC. Great things happen when the right people collaborate.”
He further added that 25 per cent of the ExxonMobil brain power is currently engaged in evaluating Indian deepwater. “ExxonMobil is geared up to take this collaboration to the next level.”