The Bold Voice of J&K

Vietnam keen on Indian participation in oil, gas exploration

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New Delhi, Oct 26 (PTI)On the eve of its Prime Minister’s visit here, Vietnam today favoured greater participation by Indian companies in oil and gas exploration projects in South China Sea, a huge source of hydrocarbons, and promised to extend full security to them.

Newly appointed Vietnamese Ambassador Ton Sinh Thanh rejected China’s objection to Indian oil exploration projects in South China Sea, asserting that that his country has the “right” to protect its interests.

“We hope that more oil and gas ventures of India can be done in Vietnam and we will create favourable condition for them,” Ton told PTI.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will arrive here tomorrow on a two-day visit during which he will hold talks with top Indian leadership on a range of issues including ways to enhance cooperation in security, defence and energy sector.

The two countries had established strategic ties in 2007.

The Ambassador said all oil exploration projects by India in South China Sea have been within the territorial waters of Vietnam and it will provide “full security” to Indian companies involved in them.

Identifying oil and gas exploration as a key area of cooperation, he indicated signing of a pact between the two countries during visit of Prime Minister Nguyen.

In November last year, Vietnam had offered India five oil blocks and ONGC Videsh Limited was looking at them in terms of their feasibility.

Recently, Vietnam had renewed India’s lease of two oil blocks in South China Sea for another year.

China and Vietnam have an acrimonious relationship due to their standoff over South China Sea, a major source of hydrocarbons.

China has been objecting to India’s oil exploration projects in the disputed waters.

Both India and Vietnam have been looking at enhancing cooperation in the the energy sector. .

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