• ONGC inks agreement with ExxonMobil for deepwater exploration in India

    Indian oil explorer and producer Oil and Natural Gas Corp said on Wednesday it signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) with global petroleum giant ExxonMobil Corp for deepwater exploration in India’s East and West coasts.

    The Heads of Agreement document was signed in the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas by Rajesh Kumar Srivastava, Director (Exploration), ONGC and Monte K Dobson, CEO & Lead Country Manager, ExxonMobil India in the presence of Pankaj Jain, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.

    “The collaboration areas focus on the Krishna Godavari and Cauvery Basins in the eastern offshore and the Kutch-Mumbai region in the western offshore. There has been a scientific exchange of exploration data in the last few years, which has led to this partnership,” said ONGC in a stock exchange filing.

    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, said the state-owned firm

    Speaking at the event, Petroleum Secretary Pankaj Jain said: “Partnerships between a National Oil Company (NOC) like ONGC and an International Oil Company (IOC) like ExxonMobil will bring tangible benefits in the entire energy value chain and open new vistas to Exploration & Production paradigm. This collaboration will boost our confidence in going further ahead in deepwater exploration in the east coast of India where the potential is quite significant.”

    Director (Exploration), ONGC, Rajesh Kumar Srivastava said: “With this strategic collaboration to pursue exploration, I look forward to long lasting partnership. Through the discovery route, ONGC hopes to move to development wherein the inherent strength of ExxonMobil would be beneficial for efficient fast-track monetization. This will enable ONGC to ensure steps towards Energy Security for India.”

    ExxonMobil India’s CEO & Lead Country Manager Monte K Dobson said, “It’s an exciting opportunity to collaborate with ONGC. Great things happen when the rightpeople 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.”

    India, the world’s third biggest oil importer and consumer, ships in over 85% of its oil needs from overseas. The country wants to quickly monetise its oil and gas resources to reduce its reliance on costly imports.

    India’s crude oil production fell 1.6% to about 600,000 barrels per day (2.44 million tonnes) in June, dipping over 4% versus the previous month.

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