Global oil major ExxonMobil is reportedly planning to acquire a stake in some of the deepwater oil and gas fields from India’s Oil and Natural Gas (ONGC).

Indian Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas secretary Tarun Kapoor was quoted by Reuters as saying: “They (Exxon) are in talks to invest in deep sea exploration (assets) around Andamans (on India’s east coast). They are evaluating data.”

ONGC chairman Subhash Kumar said the firm was scouting for partnerships for the development of its deepwater oil and gas fields.

As part of this effort, ONGC would either form a joint venture with Exxon to operate the Indian fields or sell stake in the fields.

Kumar added: “We want to get the experts of the world and those who have experience in deep sea, because 53% of India’s basin area is offshore and that’s where we feel there will be a huge potential.

“So (we seek) partnerships to do deep sea exploration and then production.”

India is also seeking to buy LNG from France’s Total, under long-term contracts, reported the news agency.

“We are looking for long-term LNG deals with less (pricing) volatility. This will give comfort to us and to them as well as they will be assured of a dedicated market going forward,” Kumar further said.

In a separate announcement, QatarEnergy has agreed to acquire a 40% stake in EL 1165A license located offshore the province of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, from ExxonMobil.

ExxonMobil Canada will own the remaining stake in the licence, which covers the Hampden exploration well activities.

QatarEnergy president and CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said the agreement represents the firm’s first entry into Offshore Canada, in an established producing basin with the leading producer in the area.

Al-Kaabi added: “This builds on our strong partnership with ExxonMobil and is an important addition to our growing international exploration portfolio.”