04:39 GMT +323 November 2019
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    India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation is eager to invest $5 billion in Russian projects

    Transcontinental Oil Pipeline Hopes Emerge From Indian, Russian Energy Vision

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    India and Russia are well on the way to establishing an “energy bridge” on the back of several recent deals and understandings in the hydro-carbon sector. But a major challenge to a pipeline snaking from Russia to India would be the volatility in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — India's investments in the Russian oil and gas sector has seen an unprecedented spike with the figure exceeding $5.5 billion in the past four months alone. And there is more in the works.

    Most of these investments have been in Rosneft-controlled Siberian oil fields by Indian state-owned companies. In turn, the biggest-ever inflow of foreign direct investment in India was conducted by Rosneft and its partners after beating rivals from Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    Making the formal announcement at last month’s India-Russia summit in Goa, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin also mooted the idea of what could emerge as the jewel in the India-Russia energy ties — a direct natural gas pipeline between the two countries. Modi said in a press statement that the two countries are undertaking a joint study of a gas pipeline.

    Conversations about an India-Russia pipeline have been taking place for several years. But like other pipelines proposed from Iran and Turkmenistan, the stumbling block is the volatility in Afghanistan and Pakistan. India and Russia may have started taking steps in this direction with their decision to coordinate security-related activities including supply of military hardware to the Afghan army.

    But given the parlous state of India-Pakistan ties, Russia will have to take the lead in engaging Pakistan, the other transit country for the Indo-Russia gas pipeline. Maintaining security in the region is also essential for a free trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Community and India, as it will open up more surface routes.

    The oil pipeline will become a necessity once Indian companies create their own resource base in Russia as it is the best method of delivery of energy resources to the Indian subcontinent.


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