India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) on Wednesday signed an agreement to bid for oil acreage in Angola with the African nation’s state-owned Sonangol, while Indian Oil Corp (IOC) offered to build a multi-billion dollar refinery in that country.

State-run gas utility GAIL India expressed interest in taking equity in a planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Angola during Petroleum Minister Murli Deora’s maiden visit to the African nation.

Official sources said ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas investment arm of the state explorer, signed a memorandum of understanding with Sonagol to participate in Angola’s next bid round as well as to collaborate in exploration in third countries.

Mr. Deora, on a four-nation tour of Africa, met Angola’s Oil Minister Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos here on Wednesday to discuss deepening of ties in energy sector.

As per the MoU signed between OVL and Sonangol, the two companies will bid together when Angola puts on offer exploration acreage this year. The two would also collaborate in exploration opportunities in India and third world countries, they said.

At the meeting, IOC Chairman Sarthak Behuria offered to participate in the Sonaref project for building a 10 million tonne refinery at Lobito. He also offered IOC assistance in upgrading Angola’s two refineries.

More In: Companies | Business