NEW DELHI, April 3 (UPI) -- An official in New Delhi said a special envoy was sent to Sudan and South Sudan to protect national oil interests in the region.
South Sudan gained access to most of the oil fields in the region when it became an independent country in July. Sudan, however, controls most of the oil export routes.
The Indian Foreign Ministry has sent an envoy to the region to assess the status of the oil sector and the security situation, the Economic Times of India reports.
"It became essential to send a special envoy to South Sudan and Sudan to promote India's interests as more investments by Indian companies, running into billions of dollars more, are in the pipeline," a government source told the news agency.
Tensions between both Sudans have escalated since July because of ethnic fighting, disputes over oil and border demarcation.
The news service notes that India's ONGC Videsh Ltd. invested close to $3 billion in a united Sudan. Beijing, which the news service said is locked in a "fierce geopolitical battle" for African oil, dispatched its own special envoy to the region earlier this year.