New Delhi: Indian companies are willing to participate in the exploration of even deep water and unconventional hydrocarbon resources in Mexico, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told Mexican officials during his recent visit to the central American nation.

“Indian companies are willing to participate in exploration and production activities in Mexico, including in deep water and unconventional resources,” the petroleum ministry said in a release here on Wednesday.

Pradhan also offered to help Mexico upgrade its refining sector, saying India has emerged as a modern refining hub with expertise to develop complex refineries in a most cost-effective manner, the statement added.

Mexico’s Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Caldwell, and state-run PEMEX chief executive Emilio Lozoya Austin have invited Indian investments in all areas of the hydrocarbon sector.

The two sides also agreed to set up a joint working group on hydrocarbons at the official level to identify concrete areas of cooperation in the sector.

India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp’s foreign arm, ONGC Videsh, has decided to open its office in Mexico City to pursue opportunities in upstream sector. It has also signed an MoU with PEMEX for cooperation in the upstream sector, the statement said.

Currently, Indian Oil, Reliance Industries and Essar buy about 6 million tonnes of crude oil from Mexico.

Pradhan also informed the Mexican officials that India is trying to diversify its imported sources of energy and more than 20 percent of crude imports is currently sourced from Latin America.

The minister is currently on an official tour to Mexico and Colombia, both of which are a very important economic and energy partners of India.