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Working with Russia could help India reduce its over-reliance on oil imports, India’s Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told CNBC on Friday.
“Today, India is sourcing its energy requirement from a different part [of the] world, Russia is one among the important destinations for us,” Pradhan told CNBC on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit in New Delhi.
At the forum in New Delhi, Pradhan also said that “Securing affordable and sustainable energy figures in the topmost priorities for all oil consuming countries, including India, especially, in the wake of price volatility and supply stability due to the recent crisis resulting from attacks on Saudi oil processing assets.”
India, which relies on oil imports to meet 80 percent of its demand, aims to cut that reliance and has been signing deals with Russia in the energy sector in recent months and years.
Last month, Pradhan met in India with Igor Sechin, the chief executive of Russia’s largest oil firm, state-controlled Rosneft, to discuss Russian-Indian cooperation in the energy industries in both countries. Indian companies reaffirmed their interest in participating in developing oil and gas projects in Russia, while Rosneft, in a consortium with other foreign investors, is considering investments in doubling the refining throughput of the Vadinar Refinery in India and expanding the retail presence in India of Rosneft-participated Nayara Energy.
Apart from cooperation in the energy sector, Russia’s Rosneft also aims to boost its oil supplies to one of the fastest-growing demand centers, India.
“During the course of the visit, the parties discussed important cooperation subjects including energy security in the region in view of the recent attacks on the production and refining facilities of Saudi Aramco. A special focus was made on the increase of supplies to Indian refineries,” Rosneft said in a statement.
“The parties agreed to intensify their cooperation aimed at the strengthening of energy security in India and supplying of high-quality feedstock and crude oil products to Indian customers,” the Russian company said.
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.