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India seeks extra oil, LPG from Saudi Arabia

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

The government has sought to increase crude oil inflow from Saudi Arabia by five million tonnes from 27.33 million tonnes, as supplies from Iran is set to decline following US sanctions.

“We have sought five million tonnes (mt) of more crude oil from Saudi Arabia in 2012-13,” Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas R P N Singh told reporters after a meeting with Abdul Aziz Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Assistant Minister for Petroleum Affairs, Saudi Arabia, here.

India also sought more LPG from Saudi Arabia to meet growing energy needs.

India imports nearly two mt of LPG from Saudi Arabia. The Saudi minister said his country had spare production capacity of 2.5 million barrels a day, beyond the current output of 9.8 million barrels a day. Singh said he conveyed India’s requirement of incremental quantities of Saudi Arabian oil imports in the years ahead considering the expansion in refining capacity in the country.

“Other related issues such as the imposition of arbitrary cuts imposed by Saudi Aramco on supply of butane and propane from time to time, MRPL’s request for supply of crude oil on the basis of parent company guarantee instead of letter of credit and others were taken up with the Saudi side,” said a government statement.

India invited Saudi participation in upcoming investment opportunities in its petroleum sector — upstream and downstream — including OPaL’s Petrochemical project at Dahej and OMPL’s Petrochemical project at Mangalore. “An offer was made to the Saudi side for considering equity participation in these projects as a strategic investor,” it said.

Other proposed investment opportunities such as IOC’s LNG project at Ennore, BPCL’s LNG terminal at Kochi, HPCL’s grassroot refinery in Vizag and IOC’s petrochemical plant at Paradip were also discussed.

“The Saudi side assured affirmative consideration of India’s request for larger quantities of crude oil and LPG while also agreeing to look into the issues raised by India relating to the hydrocarbon trade and investment between the two countries,” the statement added.

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First Published: Fri, February 24 2012. 01:13 IST