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China, India Agree to Cooperate More in Hunt for Oil


China and India have agreed to cooperate more in their efforts to find new worldwide sources of oil to fuel their booming economies. The two nations, which together have about 40 percent of the world's population, signed a series of energy agreements this week during a visit to China by India's oil minister.

India and China have both had to scour the globe in recent years to find new sources of oil to meet their rising energy demands.

That search has sometimes put the two nations in competition with each other when bidding for oil in places such as Africa and South America. It is a situation that India's Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Mani Shankar Aiyar says has driven up prices for both.

"I don't think it is necessary for either India or China to purchase its own energy security at the expense of the other," he said.

The Indian official spoke to reporters in Beijing this week after signing five agreements on energy cooperation with China, including the sharing of information. China and India have agreed to tell each other how much they are paying on bids for oil and gas.

In order to implement the deal, the two sides said they would set up a joint committee to monitor compliance and facilitate information sharing.

The Indian oil minister said it would take one year to see how the agreement worked in practice.

Chinese state media on Friday said the other agreements called for the two countries to collaborate more on research, exploration and refining, and pipeline construction.

The Chinese Xinhua state news agency said China and India also pledged to work jointly on developing alternative fuels.

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