India, Angola to sign deal on hydrocarbon sector

January 27th, 2010 - 8:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) Wednesday signed a deal with Angola’s national oil company, Sonangol, for cooperation in exploration even as both countries agreed to work towards an umbrella bilateral deal for the hydrocarbon sector.
Murli Deora, India’s minister for petroleum and natural gas, met Angolan Minister for Petroleum Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconeles at Luanda, where the former had gone as part of his four-nation African tour. Deora has already visited Sudan and Nigeria and will end his journey in Uganda.

During the meeting, OVL signed a memorandum of understanding with Sonangol - both are already working together in the South Pars block in Iran.

OVL offered to enter into joint venture operations in the existing deep water blocks of Sonangol, as well as participate in the next round of bidding for exploration blocks.

Significantly, both sides also agreed to start talks for an “overarching framework for cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector between the two countries”. “A draft in this regard would be provided by the Angolan side within a month,” said a government press release.

India’s top state refiner, Indian Oil Corporation, offered assistance in operations and upgradation of existing refineries, besides providing operation and maintenance support to the petroleum pipelines in Angola.

“The Angolan side expressed their interest in the possibility of IOC’s assistance in construction of new refineries in Angola. Both sides assured to respond to the proposals for cooperation expeditiously,” added the press statement.

Besides, Indian state-run gas company GAIL India Limited also expressed interest in the natural gas sector and hoped to participate in the next LNG train, as well as procure LNG from African nations.

“The Indian gas company offered to train the Angolan personnel in gas technology fields like transmission, distribution, city gas projects etc,” said the press note.

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