ONGC is actively searching for joint venture partners to develop deepwater exploration blocks offshore India's east and west coasts. ONGC has invited 12 companies to review the data on the deepwater blocks stored at a recently opened technology center in Bombay. Earlier this year ONGC Chairman Subir Raha said the company will invest in deepwater exploration and production areas in 2002-2007. He added ONGC was willing to form strategic alliances with upstream companies to explore deepwater areas.
ONGC said it was too early to say if potential joint venture partners would hold equity in the oil fields or work with ONGC on a consultancy basis offering technical advice. This is part of the company's plan to double its domestic reserve base of oil and gas to 12 billion metric tons of oil equivalent over the next 20 years under a newly devised exploration and production strategy.