India’s state-held oil and gas companies continue to explore participation in more oil and gas projects in Russia, Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said at an India-Russia forum on Thursday at which one of the world’s largest energy importers and one of the largest exporters discussed bilateral oil and gas ties.
“Today, Russia is our largest investment destination in the oil & gas sector. I believe that our time tested relationship has no expiry date. Russia will always be a priority in India’s foreign & energy policy and both our countries will remain as a role model for global communities,” Pradhan tweeted after the forum.
Russia, as one of the world’s largest oil and natural gas producers could become an important source to meet India’s energy needs, the minister said. The India-Russia energy ties, including some major investments, are one of the pillars of the bilateral relations, Pradhan noted.
“India has embarked on the path of becoming a gas-based economy. Russian supplies will help us in meeting the objectives of price stability & energy security. Our oil & gas PSUs are continuing to explore their participation in more oil & gas projects in Russia,” the minister added.
Some of the recent deals between Indian and Russian companies include Russia’s oil giant Rosneft selling 15 percent in Vankorneft to India’s ONGC Videsh for US$1.27 billion in 2016. Rosneft subsidiary Vankorneft was set up to develop the giant Vankor oil and gas condensate field in the North of Eastern Siberia.
Last year, Rosneft, for its part, bought 49 percent of India’s Essar Oil Limited.
In another energy relations boost, in June this year, India received its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo from Russia under a long-term supply contract with Gazprom, in a move that Minister Pradhan described as a “historic milestone in India-Russia energy ties” that would diversify India’s energy sources.