India’s Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Igor Sechin, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO, Rosneft reviewed the current situation and ongoing cooperation between New Delhi and Moscow on Tuesday.
“The developments in energy markets, including global crude oil supplies, in the light of the recent attacks on Saudi Aramco’s facilities, were also discussed. In this context, a special focus was placed on increasing crude oil supplies from Russia to Indian refineries,” said an official release of India’s federal oil ministry.
New Delhi also announced that four Indian companies would increase investment in Russia’s Eastern Oil Field Clusters. Sechin, who was the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in 2008-2009, arrived in New Delhi to attend follow up discussions between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin following the recent 20th Annual Bilateral Summit in Moscow.
Both countries vowed to cooperate in the hydrocarbon sector during the period 2019-24, and an Indian consortium of four state-run oil and gas entities has signed a non-binding cooperation agreement for participation in the Eastern Cluster project in Russia.
Sechin expressed a readiness to intensify cooperation to strengthen India’s energy security and to supply high-quality feedstock and crude oil to India. The Indian minister also welcomed the ongoing discussions between Indian Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and Rosneft to finalise a contract for the supply of Russian crude oil to India as part of India’s efforts to diversify its sources of crude oil.
“Our interest today is access to affordable and predictable energy sources, and we are in dialogue with supply sources including Iran,” said India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar at a separate press conference.
India’s crude oil imports reached 4,543.645 barrels per day in December 2018, an all-time high. Iraq is its largest oil supplier, meeting more than one-fifth of India’s demand in 2018-19. Saudi Arabia is India's second-largest oil supplier.