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India and Vietnam to expand oil cooperation

Staff writer ▼ | November 22, 2013
India and Vietnam will expand oil exploration projects in the disputed South China Sea with a total of eight agreements signed Wednesday by the two countries as Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party.
India Vietnam
India VietnamIndia and Vietnam will expand oil exploration projects in the disputed South China Sea with a total of eight agreements signed Wednesday by the two countries as Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party.


Vietnam offered India's ONGC Videsh (OVL), an offshore block for continued oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea. OVL is already involved in a joint venture with Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, or PetroVietnam, in three oil blocks close to the disputed Spratly Islands. PetroVietnam and OVL also signed an agreement for joint exploration, development and production of petroleum resources for new investments by OVL in oil and gas blocks in Vietnam.

India and Vietnam had not yet disclosed specific terms of those agreements, but they are likely to rattle China.

China maintains it has sovereignty over all the South China Sea, while Vietnam asserts competing claims over parts of the sea, including the Spratly Islands. The disputed waters are also claimed in whole or in part by the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia.

"Both India and Vietnam belong to a region that holds enormous potential but also many challenges. We have a strong convergence of interests in working together and with others in the region, for a stable, peaceful and prosperous Asia," Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.

"China opposes unilateral exploration and development of oil and gas in contested waters of the South China Sea. We hope relevant countries can respect China's claim, position and rights and interests, and respect and support efforts made by countries in the region to solve disputes through bilateral negotiations," China's Foreign Affairs Ministry said.


 

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