India offers to step up co-operation with China in energy sector

Mumbai: India is ready to increase cooperation with China to explore possibilities of joint bidding and exploration for hydrocarbons in third countries to ensure energy security for their growing economies, petroleum minister Murli Deora said in Beijing.

India and China, both major oil importers, can cooperate and bid together and avoid a price war for oil assets in third countries, Deora said.

"I am confident about India-China cooperation in the oil and gas sector and our recent successes in joint bidding and exploration in countries like in Syria, Sudan, Columbia and Nigeria should encourage us to engage in mutually beneficial tie-ups," reports quoted Deora as saying.

Deora, who is scheduled to meet the chairman of China's National Development Reform Commission (NDRC), Ma Kai, said the joint declaration issued during Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to India in November has clearly set the goal for both countries in the oil and gas sector.

China and India are among the world's biggest energy users, thanks to the rapid expansion of their developing economies. The two countries continue to rely heavily on fossil fuels to power their energy-hungry economies despite growing concerns about their impact on global warming.

The IEA's recent World Energy Outlook 2006 report predicted carbon emissions from fossil fuels, such as coal, would continue growing in line with demand from fast-growing economies like China and India.It said fossil fuels were expected to account for 81 per cent of energy needs by 2030.