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    Indian Firms to Invest More in Russian Energy Projects – Minister

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    India and Russia have identified energy cooperation as a pillar of their bilateral relations. In total, including older investments in Sakhalin, Indian investment in Russia’s oil and gas sector exceeds $10 billion. A consortium of Russian firms has committed an investment of $13 billion in India’s Essar Oil.

    India's state-run energy companies are looking to invest in more oil and gas projects in Russia, India's oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Thursday. Pradhan said that Russia is India's largest investment destination in the oil and gas sector and he believes that the time-tested bilateral relationship has no expiry date.

    READ MORE: Modi, Putin Agree on Economic Ties Between Indian Think Tank, Russian Ministry

    "India has embarked on the path of becoming a gas-based economy. Russian supplies will help us in meeting the objectives of price stability and energy security. Our oil and gas PSUs (public sector undertakings) are continuing to explore their participation in more oil and gas projects in Russia," the petroleum minister said while addressing an event in New Delhi on Thursday.

    Emphasizing the bonding between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Minister Pradhan said that Russia would always be a priority in India's foreign and energy policy and that both countries would continue to be role models for global communities.

    "PM Narendra Modi and President Putin have placed special emphasis on the energy sector as a priority area in our bilateral cooperation. Russia is one of the largest producers of oil and natural gas in the world and it can become an important source to fulfill India's requirements," the minister added.  

    India's engagement with Russia in the hydrocarbon sector, including some major investments, has become one of the key pillars of bilateral relations, he added.

    Earlier this year in June, Russia's Gazprom had started delivering liquefied natural gas (LNG) to India under a 20-year import deal at $1.5 per MMBtu, which is less than the price at which India sources LNG from Qatar, Australia, and the US.

    READ MORE: India Receives First Russian Liquefied Natural Gas Shipment

    The Indian government has been encouraging state-owned firms to purchase stakes in conventional Russian gas fields. Last year, a consortium led by Indian Oil bought a 23.9 percent stake in Vankorneft, a subsidiary of Rosneft, as well as a 29.9 percent interest in Taas-Yuryakh Neftegazodobycha. In total, including older investments in Sakhalin, Indian investment in Russia's oil and gas sector has crossed $10 billion. On the other hand, a Russian-led consortium has committed an investment of $13 billion in India's Essar Oil. India's state-owned firms now aim to purchase equity in the Yamal LNG project.

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    Tags:
    LNG shipments, oil and gas, oil companies, investments, India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Rosneft, Gazprom, Vladimir Putin, Narendra Modi, India, Russia
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