India, UAE look to enhance bilateral ties in hydrocarbon
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan met Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister for Energy of UAE and discussed areas of mutual interest to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector The Dollar Business Bureau
Seeking “favourable terms” for Indian oil companies for import of crude oil and LPG from the UAE, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the bilateral linkages between the two counties will grow further as a lot of potential in the field of hydrocarbon is still untapped. Pradhan met Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister for Energy of UAE, in New Delhi on Wednesday, ahead of the state visit of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. The visit of Abu Dhabi Crown Price comes months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the gulf country in August last year. During Wednesday’s meeting, both ministers discussed areas of mutual interest to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector. Anil Wadhwa, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, while addressing the media on Wednesday, said, nearly 9.38% of India’s requirement of crude oil is imported from UAE. “This figure was 15.99 million metric tonnes in 2014-15. UAE is the sixth largest source of crude oil for India,” he added. In his meeting with UAE Minister, Pradhan also expressed the country’s willingness to boost trade and investment in the hydrocarbon sector in the UAE. “He (Pradhan) emphasised that there exists a lot of untapped potential and expressed confidence that our bilateral hydrocarbon linkages will grow in the coming years,” said a statement from the Petroleum Ministry. Indian public sector enterprises, such as ONGC Videsh, Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum, and Oil India were interested in taking part in the production process or exploration of hydrocarbon in the UAE, Pradhan said, adding that Indian companies were also willing to acquire a stake in ADCO(Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Petroleum Operations Ltd.) for onshore oil operations. Highlighting technical capabilities of Indian PSUs in executing several projects abroad, Pradhan said that they were well-qualified to undertake engineering procurement contracts (EPCs) in the UAE. “He also suggested that there was considerable potential for establishing JVs (joint ventures) in petrochemicals, fertilizers and project export sectors,” the ministry statement said. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has already been working with Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Limited (ISPRL) on the strategic reserve project in Mangalore. The Indian minister described the UAE as India’s preferred partner and hoped that the gulf country will take advantage of investment opportunities in India. Pradhan also said that India was trying to import more crude oil from UAE, and accordingly, sought favourable terms for Indian oil companies for import of crude oil and LPG from the UAE. UAE is India’s third largest trading partner after the US and China. At present, the bilateral trade is nearly $60 billion and both sides aim to increase the two-way trade by 60% in the next five years. “UAE is also among the top 10 investors in India since 2000, with a cumulative Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of $3.3 billion. It is also estimated that the UAE has invested about $5 billion in portfolio investments into India,” Wadhwa said. Besides, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority—the world’s second largest sovereign wealth fund with a coffer of around $800 billion— is a major source of investment for the Indian infrastructure sector.
February 11, 2016 | 05:50pm IST