15 April, New Delhi
India and Saudi Arabia have agreed to conclude discussions regarding concrete investment proposals in the petroelum and natural gas sectors in a time-bound manner.
Both countries have also agreed to appoint high level negotiation teams for various projects which would be periodically reviewed at the minister level.
These terms were agreed to during Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan’s one-day official visit to Riyadh Friday.
Pradhan met Saudi Arabia’s Vice Minister for Petroleum Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud and Health Minister and Chairman of Aramco Mr. Khalid Al Falih. He also visited the headquarters of SABIC, the second largest petrochemical company in the world.
Pradhan’s visit comes close on the heels of the successful visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia on April 2-3, 2016. Pradhan was accompanied by India’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and the CEOs of ONGC Limited, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited.
During the visit of Prime Minister Modi, ways to enhancing cooperation in oil and gas sector was one of the key issues discussed with the Saudi leadership.
Pradhan shared details of various investment opportunities in India in downstream and upstream sectors. He also elaborated on the hydrocarbon exploration licensing policy (HELP) and the discovered small fields policy and invited the Saudi side to invest in Indian upstream sector. Similarly the Saudi side provided details of investment opportunities for Indian companies in their country.
Saudi Arabia has been the largest supplier of crude oil to India. Saudi Arabia supplied about 40 MMT of crude to India during 2015-16, accounting for about 20 percent of total crude imports. India also imported about 3 MMT of LPG which is around 28 percent of our total LPG imports.