New Delhi June 19 :
State-run explorer Oil India Ltd (OIL) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) Thursday with Russian gas giant Gazprom for jointly pursuing exploration opportunities worldwide, as well as collaborating on liquefied natural gas (LNG).
“The MoU also provides an option to the companies for technological association. Any area or project of common interest would also be covered under the purview of MoU,” OIL said in a statement.
The MoU was signed by OIL chairman S.K. Srivastava and Gazprom International managing director Valery Goulev.
“This is a very strong association and we should take advantage of leveraging each other’s strengths. Our countries have a history of close co-operation and very good relations and I sincerely hope that our partnership will grow from strength to strength and yield results in the shortest time possible,” said Srivastava.
Gazprom is the only producer and exporter of LNG in Russia, while Gazprom International is its foreign exploration and production projects arm with assets in 10 countries.
Last month, Russia and China signed a historic $400 billion gas deal by which state-run Gazprom will supply 38 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas each year for a 10-year period to the China National Petroleum Corporation.
Energy security is an essential element of the Indo-Russian strategic partnership and cooperation in the sector will be furthur strengthened, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said in Moscow Monday at the just concluded 21st World Petroleum Congress.
“Russia has always been a longstanding, time-tested friend and a strategic partner, and energy is an essential element of our relationship, and we look forward to working further in this sphere,” Pradhan said in his address at the opening plenary.
Last month, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of the state-run ONGC, signed a deal with Russia’s largest oil and gas producer Rosneft to jointly explore hydrocarbons in the offshore Arctic.
OVL has a 20 percent stake in the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas field in the Pacific Ocean, while in January 2009 the company bought Imperial Energy, which has fields in Siberia, for $2.1 billion.