India Eyeing More Russian Energy Projects: Minister
Indian state-owned energy companies are looking to invest in more oil and gas projects in Russia, Indian oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said September 13 during an event ‘India-Russia in 21st Century’ that was held in New Delhi.
“Our oil and gas PSUs [public sector units] are continuing to explore their participation in more oil and gas projects in Russia. We are working with Russian oil companies for acquisition of quality producing blocks. Today Russia is our largest investment destination in the oil and gas sector,” Pradhan said.
Indian state-owned firms have been buying stake in Russian oil and gas assets for more than a decade. ONGC Videsh (OVL), the overseas arm of ONGC bought a 20% stake in the Sakhalin-1 project in 2001 and then bought Imperial Energy a few years later. In 2016, OVL completed the acquisition of 15% equity in Vankorneft for $1.268bn. In a follow-up deal, it bought a further 11% stake in Vankorneft. OVL now holds 26% stake in Vankorneft while 23.9% equity is held by the Indian consortium of three other state-owned firms: Oil India, Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat Petro Resources. Rosneft continues to hold the remaining 50.1% shares of Vankorneft.
Pradhan further said that Russian LNG can help India meet it energy security. “India has embarked on becoming a gas-based economy. Russian [LNG] supplies will help in meeting the target of price stability and energy security,” he said.
India received its first LNG cargo from Gazprom June 4 on LNG Kano under a long-term deal at Petronet’s Dahej terminal in the state of Gujarat. Gail will buy 2.5mn mt/yr of LNG under a 20-year contract.