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Indian oil exploration drive opens doors for Malaysia's SapuraKencana

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Oil & Natural Gas Corp. engineers work at the Kalol oil field in the western Indian state of Gujarat.   © Reuters

MUMBAI/KUALA LUMPUR -- India is speeding up oil exploration to meet ever-growing domestic demand. Its timing is good: The downtrend in crude oil prices has left contractors hungry for work, giving oil field owners a chance to strike favorable deals.

     State-run Oil & Natural Gas Corp. has hired Malaysia's SapuraKencana Petroleum to redevelop the third phase of its offshore Mumbai High South oil field in the Arabian Sea. SapuraKencana, which operates mainly in emerging markets, beat three other global players to win the contract, valued at $273 million.

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