India has offered its expertise in the power and the textile industry to Sudan in return for a right to carry out exploration of oil and gas in the east African country. The offer was made Thursday at a meeting between the two countries in New Delhi.
Sudanese Minister of Energy and Mining Awad al-Jaz, who is on a visit to New Delhi, held discussions with Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar on cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector.
Sudan once had a flourishing textile industry owing to the rich quality of cotton available in the country, but years of war destroyed the industry. India, which has a large cotton-based industry, has offered to help rebuild the industry there.
Officials said ONGC Videsh Ltd would also look at some onshore and offshore blocks, including block 12A, offered to it in the past, but which it did not take up then. "One of the offshore block has gas potential," said an official. ONGC also offered to set up petrochemicals business along with a refinery in Sudan. Officials said a meeting of the joint working group would be held in January when the development package would be discussed.
Sudan had earlier given a contract to ONGC's overseas arm, OVL, to build a $1.2-billion oil refinery at Port Sudan. OVL is already involved with Greater Nile Oil Project in Sudan, which is located in the Muglad Basin, around 435 miles southwest of the capital, Khartoum.
OVL acquired Talisman's 25% participating interest in the GNOP on March 12, 2003. The project is divided into upstream and downstream segments. The upstream segment is covered under an exploration and production-sharing agreement, while the downstream part is covered under a transportation agreement.
The consortium members include China National Petroleum Corporation, with 40% equity, Petronas Carigali Overseas Sdn BHD and Petronas together holding 30%, ONGC Videsh Limited holding 25% and Sudan National Oil Company SUDAPET holding 5%.