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India offers UAE stakes in petro projects; plans to boost oil imports
Posted Date 2016/04/12 07:36

 India will increase its oil imports from the UAE by another 2.5 million metric tonnes in 2016-17
Indian Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, who is on a two-day visit to the UAE, said his country's total imports from the UAE amount to 16.11 MMT in 2015-16, accounting for eight per cent of its total imports.
An official statement said the minister in his meeting with business leaders called for greater economic and strategic ties between India and the UAE.


The minister has offered the UAE, which made a pledge in 2015 to invest $75 billion in India, stakes in its petrochemical plants and refinery projects as part of its strategy to boost energy ties with the Gulf nation.
Pradhan promised the UAE "fair, transparent and attractive" policy regime for investing in India's oil and gas sector through "appropriate policy, regulatory and fiscal interventions". 


Indian has on offer 26 per cent stake for $700 million in state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd's about-to-be- commissioned petrochemical project at Dahej in Gujarat. Besides, there is 24 per cent equity available for $200 million investment for expansion being planned by Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd for its subsidiary Bina refinery in Madhya Pradesh.


Also on offer is a 25-40 per cent stake in HPCL's planned petrochemical plant on the Andhra coast for an investment of $530-850 million. He said the UAE can also invest in the planned 60 million tonne Jagdishpur-Haldia and Paradip-Surat gas pipelines.
Addressing members of the Indian Business and Professional Council, the minister said India is gearing up to shift base from being a large oil consumer to natural gas. "With a focus on natural gas, the government is working on furthering the gas pipeline grid of 15,000 km with an additional 15,000 km," he said.


He noted that India-UAE trade has increased phenomenally in the last half a century. The trade, valued at $180 million per annum in the 1970s, is today around $60 billion making the UAE, India's third largest trading partner since 2014-15. There is an estimated $8 billion UAE investment in India of which around $3.13 billion is in the form of foreign direct investment, while the remaining is portfolio investment and UAE is the eleventh biggest investor in India in terms of FDI.


Pradhan said India believes that there is potential to transform the buyer-seller relationship with the UAE in energy into a genuine energy partnership. India has allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investment, or FDI, in oil and gas exploration and production, refining, pipelines and fuel marketing.


The minister said India is the fourth largest consumer of energy in the world and "in a few weeks we will move to being the fifth largest from almost being the third in 2013-2014. However, our per capita consumption of energy is the lowest in the world."
Pradhan said that India's petrochemical sector has been growing at 10 per cent and urged IBPC members to consider investing in the country's petrochemical industry.


Pradhan, recently visited Iran to bolster oil trade between the two countries. He was quoted as saying that India is ready to invest up to $20 billion in Iran's energy industry and ports, and may boost imports of natural gas and oil if it gets favourable terms.


Pradhan inaugurated the 'Make in India' pavilion at the annual investment meet being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre earlier on Monday. He was accompanied by CEOs from HP, BP, ONGC, Indian Oil Corporation and a FICCI delegation. 

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