India is looking at signing a preliminary agreement with Nigeria in December for investing in refineries as well as exploration and production of oil and gas in the African nation. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today discussed with Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum of Nigeria the potential in diversifying the engagement of two countries in the hydrocarbon sector. Kachikwu is on a three days official visit to India. "Both Ministers noted the existing and significant engagement between the two countries in the hydrocarbon sector.
During the meeting, Pradhan thanked Nigerian Minister for allocating term contracts to Indian public sector oil companies and requested Nigeria to extend similar long term contracts to them," an official statement said here. Nigeria is one of the largest trading partners of India in Africa. In 2015-16, India imported nearly 23.7 million tons of crude (nearly 12 per cent of India overall imports) and over 2 million tons of LNG from Nigeria. The two ministers discussed the significant potential in diversifying the engagement in the hydrocarbon sector. "The Nigerian Minister requested a potential investment by India of USD 15 billion, if the terms can be agreed to, in Nigeria as upfront payment for crude purchase," the statement said. This amount is to be repaid on the basis of firm crude oil sales to India over some years and in consideration for collaborating in refining sector, exploration and production activities. "Both agreed to strengthen the existing cooperation in oil and gas sector, and in particular to explore investment opportunities for Indian Public and Private sector companies in Nigeria," the statement said. The two agreed "to work on a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate investments by India in the Nigerian oil and gas sector and include areas such as term contract, participation of Indian Companies in the refining sector, oil and gas marketing sector, upstream sector, development of gas infrastructure and training of oil and gas personnel in Nigeria," it said. The MoU is expected to be firmed up in December during the PETROTECH-2016 conference. The Nigerian minister also had one-to-one meetings with top executives of Indian public sector oil and gas companies and also representatives of some private sector firms.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)