Global energy giant ExxonMobil will help state-owned ONGC develop oil and gas resources off east and west coasts, particularly in deep sea.
ONGC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the US giant, the company said in a statement.
"This MoU will enable the two petroleum companies to undertake joint technical studies and cooperate in frontier areas like deep water and other petroleum exploration licence (PEL) blocks of ONGC in east and west coast and open acreage for joint bidding," it said.
The MoU was signed on the side-lines of IHS-CERAWeek here by ONGC Director (Exploration) R K Srivastava and ExxonMobil CEO, South Asia, William P Davis in the presence ONGC Chairman Shashi Shanker.
"The work under the MoU will be carried out in three phases. This will lead to a joint technical study for potential collaboration areas," it said.
ExxonMobil Vice President (Asia Pacific) Michael Deal said, "we welcome the opportunity to work with ONGC and apply our collective expertise to be an even bigger part of India's bright energy future."
Shanker said, "this meaningful partnership with ExxonMobil will be a step towards unlocking value in ONGC PEL offshore blocks, study open acreage areas and enable us to get closer to meeting country's energy aspirations."
The MoU, signed late Monday, will be later signed as a definitive deal after Exxon studies the blocks of the company.
"Witnessed the exchange of a MoU between Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and ExxonMobil to identify areas for exploration in deep water in east and west coast of India," Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in a tweet.
ONGC and ExxonMobil will also jointly identify areas to submit bids for more exploration assets in India, he added.
Keen to boost domestic oil and gas output, ONGC is investing billions of dollars in discoveries on east and west coasts.
Exxon signed another pact with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to collaborate in sourcing and marketing of liquefied natural gas (LNG).