ONGC’s oil exploration in South China Sea

Agartala: Oil giant ONGC along with a Vietnamese company will launch joint exploration for oil in the South China Sea despite objections from China, a top company official said on Tuesday.

“There is nothing wrong in it. ONGC-Videsh has got this asignment through an international bid and we will go ahead with our exploration work with a Vietnamese oil company,” ONGC Chairman and Managing Director Sudhir Vasudeva said here.

India in October last year had inked an agreement with Vietnam to expand and promote oil exploration in South China Sea.

The ONGC chairman, who reviewed the work progress of the 724 MW gas-based thermal project at Palatana in South Tripura district mentioned that the first unit would start generation by June which would cater to the power needs of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.

Vasudeva said, ONGC would set up a Rs 500 crore gas based fertilizer unit at Khobal in North Tripura district for which six investors have expressed interest.

“This fertilizer plant will cater to the needs of the north eastern states and Bangladesh,” he added.

ONGC-Videsh is an arm of the oil PSU to prospect for oil and gas acreages abroad.

Vasudeva said, “if there is any territorial dispute between China and Vietnam they are supposed to sort out their problem. It is purely a commercial activity for us.”

“The Government of India is the appropriate authority to take steps in this regard and clear everything for us,” he said.

China has been objecting to any activity in the South China Sea region including Indian oil exploration owing to the ongoing territorial disputes with ASEAN countries like Vietnam and the Philippines which share the sea boundaries. (PTI)

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