Private oil firms eye tie-ups with Taiwan

New Delhi, March 30 | Updated: Mar 31 2005, 05:30am hrs
A delegation of private sector oil and fertiliser companies has returned from Taiwan after exploring the possibility of cooperation in the petroleum industry.

According to sources, the visit came at a time when India and China, the worlds two largest oil consumers, have been looking at cooperation in the energy sector to avoid competition in bidding for oil blocks in third countries as they search for energy security.

The delegation, which visited Taiwan during March 15-19, was led by a top official of the Nagarjuna Group of Andhra Pradesh and included senior officials of two Chennai-based companies.

Sources said that the delegation held talks with six major Taiwanese oil companies - China Petroleum Corporation, Dairen Corporation, USI Corporation, International Petrochemicals Group, Formosa Petrochemicals Corporation and Morning Star Group. The six Taiwanese companies have a total market capitalisation of $ 29 billion.

The talks centered on forging an alliance among the private sector oil companies to pool in their strengths for mutual benefit.

The two sides also discussed the possibilities of complementing the Taiwanese companies marketing skills with Indian managerial expertise and technical manpower in what they agreed would be a win-win situation for both, sources said.

Apart from the distribution of petroleum products in India, the two sides also discussed setting up of downstream petroleum chemical complexes to take advantage of the Indian and international markets, they said.

The Taiwanese government and companies are aware of the diplomatic reach that a link-up with Indian companies would provide, sources added.

Currently, India does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan (Republic of China). India has non-governmental economic, commercial, cultural and people-to-people exchanges and contacts with Taiwan within the framework of Indias One-China policy.