ONGC, CNPC to jointly bid for overseas energy assets

India and China look to set aside their long-standing rivalry in securing overseas oil assets with two of their largest state-run energy companies joining hands to jointly explore and bid for oil and gas assets overseas.

India's biggest state-run oil and gas explorer ONGC and China's largest government-owned energy firm, China National Petroleum Corp, (CNPC) yesterday signed an agreement to jointly explore for overseas hydrocarbon assets,  crude oil refining, distribution of petroleum products and building oil and gas pipelines.

The agreement comes barely three months after Oil and natural Gas Corp (ONGC) signed an initial agreement with US oil giant ConocoPhillips in March to jointly explore and develop shale-gas in India and North America and deepwater blocks along India's eastern coast. 

''The areas of cooperation between ONGC and CNPC will also extend to joint participation in suitable hydrocarbon projects in other countries of interest by exchanging information and working for mutual growth and benefit by extending cooperation in hydrocarbon sectors globally,'' ONGC said in a statement.

ONGC's overseas arm ONGC Videsh (OVL) already has an existing partnership with CNPC in international projects in Syria, Sudan and the Myanmar Pipeline Project.

Despite thisprevious collaboration, India and China have been competing for overseas energy blocks, with Indian oil companies always at the losing end, mainly due to the extremely slow or no decisions taken by the petroleum ministry in overseas acquisitions.