India and China both need lots of fossil fuel to sustain their rapid economic growth. And they're competing for oil contracts in developing countries around the world.
This is a small part of the larger rivalry between the two countries. As we reported earlier this year, the countries were economically on par in the middle of the last century, but China is pulling ahead on many fronts.
In the past year, China beat India out of at least $12.5 billion of oil contracts, Bloomberg News reports.
In response, India has told two state-controlled oil companies to make major acquisitions this year. It's raised the amount they can spend without government approval to over $1 billion.
And the country's oil minister has been on a world tour this year, visiting Nigeria, Angola, Uganda, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
"India's search for energy has to become a more intense political game, rather than one based entirely on economics," a Mumbai-based economist told Bloomberg.