India’s state-owned oil and gas company ONGC Videsh has secured a three-year extension for its exploration block in the South China Sea. The block, Block 128, is located in the northern part of the sea, and is claimed by both Vietnam and China.
The extension was granted by the Vietnamese government, and will allow ONGC Videsh to continue its exploration activities in the block until June 2026. The company has been exploring the block since 2004, but has not yet found any commercially viable oil or gas reserves.
The extension of the exploration block is a strategic move by India, as it helps to strengthen its ties with Vietnam and assert its presence in the South China Sea. The sea is a major shipping route and is believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves. However, it is also a contested area, with several countries claiming sovereignty over parts of it.
The extension of the ONGC Videsh block is likely to be seen as a provocation by China, which claims the entire South China Sea. However, India has said that it will continue to explore the block in accordance with international law.
The extension of the ONGC Videsh block is a sign of India’s growing strategic interests in the South China Sea. The country is increasingly concerned about China’s increasing assertiveness in the region, and is looking to strengthen its ties with other countries in the region, such as Vietnam. The extension of the block is also a sign of India’s commitment to its energy security, as the country looks to diversify its sources of oil and gas.
The extension of the ONGC Videsh block is a complex issue with far-reaching implications. It is a sign of India’s growing strategic interests in the South China Sea, and it is likely to further complicate relations between India and China. The block is also a potential source of oil and gas, and its development could have a significant impact on the global energy market.