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Russia's Next Great Energy Ally

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the biggest oil refiner in India, is discussing imports of crude oil from Russia with Russian oil giant Rosneft, IOC’s chairman Sanjiv Singh said on Tuesday.

IOC has so far imported insignificant volumes of oil from Russia, and is now looking to potentially boost its imports of Russian oil, Singh said at the ADIPEC energy conference in Abu Dhabi, as carried by Reuters.

“We are in discussion with Rosneft and we are hopeful that something should work,” IOC’s Singh said.

India, which relies on imports to meet 80-85 percent of its oil demand, aims to cut that reliance and diversify the sources of its crude oil imports to insulate itself from geopolitical risks. Around 60 percent of India’s current oil imports come from the Middle East.

Working with Russia could help India reduce its over-reliance on oil imports, India’s Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said last month.

India has been signing deals with Russia in the energy sector in recent months and years.

In September, Pradhan met in India with Rosneft’s chief executive Igor Sechin 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.

Related: Aramco’s 658 Page Prospectus Fails To Answer The $2 Trillion Question

Apart from cooperation in the energy sector, 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 in mid-September.

“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.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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