India-based Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) with ExxonMobil on Wednesday for the deepwater exploration of India’s east and west coasts. According to a press release by ONGC, the exploration would primarily focus on the offshore basins of Krishna Godavari and Cauvery off the eastern coast and the Kutch-Mumbai region on the west.
“Through the discovery route, ONGC hopes to move to development wherein the inherent strength of ExxonMobil would be beneficial for efficient fast-track monetization,” ONGC’s head of exploration Rajesh Kumar Srivastava announced, adding that ONGC looks forward to building a long-term partnership with ExxonMobil; a company that has long been looking to buy a stake in local deep water fields belonging to ONGC.
Currently, India is the third-largest oil importer and consumer worldwide, with exports adding up to more than 85% of its total oil supply. The country is currently looking to tap into its local gas and oil resources in an effort to reduce its imports and become more self-sufficient. India’s crude oil production fell by 1.6% to 600,000 barrels per day in June, compared to a 4% drop the month before.