January 21, 2016
India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd. and Equatorial Guinea signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cooperate in the latter’s oil and gas industry, the West African country’s Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy (MMIE) announced in a press release Wednesday.
“The MoU provides the basis for a comprehensive cooperation in multiple areas of the energy sector, including offshore oil and gas exploration in Equatorial Guinea plus midstream and downstream projects. The MoU is considered the foundation for future discussions that will take place in the coming weeks between the both parties to reach further agreements,” MMIE revealed.
The agreement, which “calls for a sweeping cooperation that could encompass several areas of the oil and gas industry”, was signed by Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy, and ONGC Videsh’s Managing Director Narendra K. Verma, Managing Director.
“We have received a clear mandate from H.E. the President of Equatorial Guinea to execute this cooperation on both the economic and political front. Going forward, we want to share our very ambitious plans with ONGC for developing upstream and downstream sectors. We will be happy to cooperate with ONGC to fulfill all of them,” Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima said.
ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd. (ONGC) focused on the upstream sector, has made investments in Africa a top priority of its 2016 agenda. The Indian company intends to double its spending on Africa to $16 billion over the next few years as it evaluates multiple exploration opportunities.
“We look forward to this occasion for boosting our ties, particularly in the hydrocarbons and energy sector … This will strengthen the relationship between our companies and governments. Our Government and Prime Minister are very keen on this cooperation, following the mandate set forth last October,” Verma said.