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India is in talks with companies from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to jointly bid for oil blocks in the Middle Eastern oil producing country, India’s oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday.
“We are in talks that India could bid in the next licensing round of UAE with some Middle Eastern nation companies like Mubadala,” Pradhan said, as quoted by Reuters.
In February this year, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) awarded a consortium of Indian oil companies a 10 percent interest in Abu Dhabi’s offshore Lower Zakum concession—the first time Indian oil and gas companies have been awarded a stake in Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas resources.
Alongside the stake in the concession, ADNOC and the state-owned Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL) agreed to form a partnership for the strategic crude oil storage facility in the southern Indian city of Mangalore. Under the partnership, ADNOC would store 5.86 million barrels of crude oil in underground facilities.
After meeting with UAE officials today, Indian oil minister Pradhan said that India would consider leasing some of its third strategic reserve in the southern Indian city Padur, if ADNOC was interested.
“Oil producers don’t want to miss India’s bus,” Pradhan also said.
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India, which has called for “stable and moderate” oil prices and has said that $80 a barrel was too high, has also said that it was talking to China to create an ‘oil buyers’ club’ to be able to negotiate better prices with oil exporting countries.
Earlier this month, Pradhan met with ambassadors of OPEC countries to India and “discussed India’s growing position in the world energy demand & the need for responsible pricing which balances the interests of both the producer & consumer countries.”
India signed today an agreement with ADNOC and with Saudi Aramco for a US$44-billion mega refinery project in India, in which the Middle Eastern producers would secure more market for their crude oil, while India would boost its refining capacities.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.