India is looking at increasing crude-oil imports from Mexico and to strengthen ties through enhanced cooperation in the energy sector. ONGC Videsh Ltd, the foreign arm of state-owned explorer ONGC, has decided to open a full office in the North American nation. A delegation led by Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan just concluded a two-day visit to that country. It is now visiting Bogota in Colombia. “India is trying to diversify its import sources of energy and more than 20 per cent of crude oil import is presently sourced from Latin America,” said Pradhan during the talks there. “Mexico figures high on the priority of India to enhance bilateral energy ties.”
ALSO READ: ONGC seeks green nod for Rs 53k-cr KG-basin infra Indian companies, he said, were willing to participate in exploration and production in Mexico, including in deep-water and unconventional resources. India can help Mexico upgrade its refining sector, said the minister.India has emerged as a modern refining hub, with expertise to develop complex refineries at most cost-effective manner. Indian Oil Chairman B Ashok, ONGC Videsh Managing Director N K Verma, Cairn India Chief Executive Mayank Ashar, Adani Gas Chief Executive Rajeev Sharma, Reliance Industries’ President-Strategy Atul Laul and Larson & Toubro’s Deputy General Manager Manish Mishra were part of the delegation.
Currently, IOC, Reliance Industries and Essar buy around six million tonnes of crude oil a year from Mexico. “The energy reforms in Mexico provide a window to transform the relationship from a buyer-seller one to that of an energy partnership,” the minister said. Pradhan had met Mexican energy minister Pedro Joaquín Caldwell, economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo Villareal and Chief Executive of the national oil company of Mexico Pemex, Emilio Lozoya Austin. Pradhan asked the Mexicans to consider doing business with Indian engineering, procurement and construction and infrastructure companies. He said India wanted a long-term partnership with Mexico in the hydrocarbon sector. India imports 78 per cent of its crude oil and is trying to diversify its sources. Mexico and Colombia have brought in phased deregulation and an independent regulatory framework for their oil and gas sector. Their location gives them a easy access to both the Pacific and Atlantic markets.