India aims to diversify Mexican oil imports, strengthen energy ties

ONGC Videsh, overseas arm of India’s state-owned oil explorer, will open its office in Mexico City to pursue opportunities in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas.

 The Dollar Business Bureau Oil Imports India will diversify its crude oil imports from Mexico as part of its efforts to strengthen energy cooperation with Latin American countries. Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan who led a business delegation to Mexico on May 18-19, said that India is trying to diversify its import sources of energy and more than 20% of crude import of India is presently sourced from Latin America. “Mexico figures high on the priority of India to enhance bilateral energy ties,” the minister said after his meeting with Pedro Joaquín Caldwell, Minister of Energy, Mexico. Pradhan also met Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villareal and CEO of national oil company of Mexico PEMEX Emilio Lozoya Austin. During these meetings Pradhan stressed on his government’s resolution to develop energy partnership with key energy producing countries of the world. At present, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and Essar together buy about 6 million metric tonnes of crude oil from Mexico. Last year, Mexico opened up its energy sector for private and foreign participation, offering more opportunities for India to enhance bilateral energy cooperation with the Latin American country. “The energy reforms in Mexico provide a window to transform the relationship from buyer – seller relationship to that of an energy partnership,” Pradhan said. ONGC Videsh, overseas arm of state-owned oil explorer, has decided to open its office in Mexico City to pursue opportunities in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas. The company has also signed an agreement with PEMEX for cooperation to explore oil and natural gas resources in Mexico. Pradhan said that Indian companies are willing to participate in the exploration and production activities in Mexico including in deep water and unconventional resources. He said that India has emerged as a modern refining hub with expertise to develop complex refineries in a most cost-effective manner. India can help Mexico to upgrade its refining sector. The minister also asked Mexico to consider using Indian export promotion councils and infrastructure companies from public and private sector who provide world-class services. The Mexican energy minister and CEO, PEMEX invited Indian investment in all streams of hydrocarbon sector. The two sides agreed to set up a joint working group on hydrocarbon to identify concrete areas of cooperation in the oil and gas sector. Pradhan has been accompanied by Indian Ambassador to Mexico Sujan Chinoy, Chairman of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) B Ashok and Narendra Kumar Verma, Managing Director of ONGC Videsh Ltd. Besides, Mayank Ashar, CEO, Cairn India and Rajeev Sharma, CEO, Adani Gas, are also part of the 15-member delegation. The delegation will conclude its tour on May 22 after visiting Colombia and Bogota. India imports 78% of its crude oil and Mexico, Colombia can be its significant partners in the energy sector.    

May 20, 2015 | 3:20 pm IST.

The Dollar Business Bureau - May 20, 2015 12:00 IST