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China, India Invest in Oil Exploring Firm In Colombia

Chinese and Indian state oil firms have teamed up to invest US$800 million...

Chinese and Indian state oil firms have teamed up to invest US$800 million in a 50 percent stake in Omimex de Colombia, India's oil minister confirmed Monday, the second time the Asian giants have allied to secure energy assets.

The two Asian heavyweights have been discussing cooperation on global energy deals as their oil import bills expand. At the start of the year they signed five memorandums of understanding.

Analysts described the Colombian acquisition by China's No.2 oil company, Sinopec, and India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) as a minor deal.

"I am glad to announce our bid with Sinopec has been accepted," Indian Oil Minister Murli Deora told reporters in the northern Indian town of Dehradun during ONGC's golden jubilee celebrations. "It will get India 1 million tons of oil every year."

Earlier, China's Xinhua news agency reported Sinopec and ONGC agreed on the purchase Friday, with each taking a 25 percent stake in the company, citing the Indo-Asian News Service.

An Indian oil ministry official, who did not wish to be identified, confirmed to reporters the combined 50 percent stake was worth US$800 million.

Omimex de Colombia is a 100 percent subsidiary of Omimex Resources, a U.S.-based exploration and production company. Neither Omimex nor Sinopec could be reached for comment.