India on Wednesday invited Russian companies to invest in its oil refining and petrochemical projects as the two nations vowed to increase energy cooperation going beyond LNG supplies and stakes in Russian oil and gas fields.
Indian state-owned firms have stakes in four sets of oil and gas fields in Russia and they will continue to look at investing in producing fields in the resource-rich nation, said a joint statement issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's annual bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin here.
"India-Russia hydrocarbon cooperation is a major pillar of India-Russia strategic partnership and has grown over the last two decades. Notably, the last 5 years have witnessed a major boost in cooperation in this area," the statement issued by the Indian government said.
The two sides, it said, share а common understanding that energy is crucial for the development of their people and economy and they recognised the importance of global energy markets that are stable, predictable and balanced giving due regard to the interests of producer and consumer countries.
"Both sides affirmed their determination to deepen cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector, bilaterally and in third-country projects," it said.
The two nations recognised the significance of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) supplied from Russia to India and agreed to strengthen LNG imports to India to promote India's bid to transform itself into a gas-based economy.
"Russia will encourage it's public and private sector companies to participate in gas projects in India, particularly in the development of gas pipeline networks and city gas distribution infrastructure in India," it said. "India's private and public companies will explore the possibility of collaborating in LNG projects, including in the Arctic."
State-owned firms will look at investing in Russian gas producer Novatek's Arctic LNG project.
"India will look for further investment opportunities in producing oil and gas fields in Russia," the statement said. "The Indian side would invite further investment from Russian public and private sector entities into Indian refining, petrochemical and associated sectors."
The two nations will work for identification of new projects of cooperation, it said.
According to a joint statement issued by the Russian government earlier, the two nations signed on a roadmap for cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector with
Moscow agreeing to look at supplying coking coal from its Far East and the two nations expanding energy partnership in hydro and thermal power.
"With the signing of the roadmap for cooperation in hydrocarbons for 2019–24 during the Summit, both sides expect bilateral cooperation in this sector to touch new heights in the next five years," it said without giving details.
As many as 15 MoUs were signed during the talks, according to a statement by India's Ministry of External Affairs. These included one between the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas of India on the use of natural gas for transportation.
Another one signed by the two sides was for "expansion of cooperation in the oil and gas sector," it said without giving details.
Russian gas producer Novatek signed a pact with Petronet LNG Ltd for liquefied natural gas supply and joint development of downstream LNG business.
"The leaders are determined to forge cooperation in geological exploration and joint development of oil and gas fields in Russia and India, including offshore fields. They will continue their work to develop the ways of delivering energy resources from Russia to India, including a long-term agreement for sourcing
Russian crude oil, the possible use of the Northern Sea Route and a pipeline system," the joint statement issued by the Russian government said.
The two leaders noted the prospects of Russia's Rosneft-backed Nayara Energy Ltd increasing the capacity in Vadinar oil refinery in Gujarat.
"India and Russia agreed to consider the prospects for expanding cooperation in hydro and thermal power, energy efficiency as well as for designing and constructing facilities that generate energy from non-conventional sources," it said.
Also, the two leaders noted the immense potential of cooperation in the field of non-nuclear fuel and energy.
"India and Russia welcome the success of interaction between JSC Rosneft Oil Company and Consortium of Oil and Gas Public Sector Undertakings in implementing the Vankorneft and Taas-Yuryakh Neftegazodobycha (oil and gas field) projects (in Russia), the work of the Nayara Energy oil refinery, cooperation in extracting hydrocarbon resources over the last two decades as well as the timely delivery of liquefied natural gas under the agreement between Gazprom and GAIL India," the joint statement said.
The two sides also "agreed to cooperate in supply of coking coal from Russian Far East to India," it said.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Coal India Ltd and Far East Investment and Export Agency to cooperate in coking coal mining projects implementation in the Russian Far East, MEA said.
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