Moving New Delhi-Moscow relations forward with energy investment, Russia’s Sevmorneftegeofizika (SMNG) and India’s state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on Thursday signed a contract for 2D and 3D offshore seismic surveys on the Indian continental shelf.
Preparations are currently underway for field seismic survey works, planned to start in early February 2020. The studies will be carried out in highly promising areas of the Mumbai oil and gas basin. The sites are located in the Gulf of Cambodia and the Arabian Sea: one - off the northern coast of the bay south of the city of Mahuva, second - west of the cities of Mumbai and Tarapur.
SMNG's technical and commercial proposal was recognised as the best, based on the results of a tender held by ONGC at the end of 2019.
“The victory in the ONGC tender once again demonstrated the high competencies of our marine seismic exploration, which successfully competes in the global market", Sergey Gorkov, General Director and Chairman of the Management Board of Rosgeology JSC, said in a press statement.
“The contract with ONGC is the largest foreign contract in the history of Rosgeology, which is of particular importance as part of the implementation of our strategy aimed at increasing the share of contracts outside Russia to 30% of the company's revenue".
During his visit to India last week, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia is also looking for ways to enhance cooperation with India in the energy sector, focusing on energy efficiency as well as ways of improving the delivery of Russian energy resources to India.
In the absence of its own crude oil production, the rising demand of oil pushed India’s oil import dependence to a record-high of 84.5 percent in the April-October period of the current financial year 2019-20.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target to reduce the country’s oil import dependence by 2022.
On 15 January, Indian Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan expressed his country’s interest in investing in Russia's Vostok Oil Arctic project.
Vostok Oil is a joint venture between Russia's state-owned oil giant Rosneft and Russian owned private oil producer Neftegazholding to explore oil reserves in the Arctic.