India asks UAE for better terms in oil, gas imports

Dubai, April 13 (IANS) In a wake of prolonged slump in global prices, India has asked the United Arab Emirates for better terms on the import of crude oil and liquified petroleum gas from the Gulf country.

“Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan pitched for maximising the term volume for Indian companies which import crude and LPG from the UAE on favourable terms,” a ministry statement said on Wednesday.

Pradhan earlier met UAE Energy Minister Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei before concluding his official visit to the country.

Pradhan also met UAE Minister of State Sultan Jaber, the chief executive of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, it said.

“He (Pradhan) also highlighted the interests of the Indian companies to participate in prospective exploration in the UAE and third countries,” the statement added.

Pradhan also discussed investment opportunities in several major hydrocarbon sector projects in India, including Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Petro Additions Ltd., Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd., Petchem complex in Andhra Pradesh, West Coast refinery and the Ennore LNG terminal.

“Had detailed discussion with Oil Minister of UAE; it’s 3rd meeting with him in a year; agreed on few concrete projects,” Pradhan tweeted earlier.

“Discussed investment in Indian strategic oil reserve; mutual investment in oil, gas, refinery, petrochemical projects,” the minister said in another tweet.

Gulf and Saudi oil majors, such as Aramco, the Kuwait Petroleum Corp and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, had earlier shown interest in storage facility in India as it reduces their transport costs into Southeast Asia.

In India’s first phase of building strategic oil reserves, the storage bunk at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh has been completed while construction is in the final stages at Padur and Mangaluru, both in Karnataka.

Pradhan’s visit to the UAE is a follow-up of the February visit of Abu Dhabi’s crown prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Energy Minister Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei to Delhi.

The UAE contributes in a major way to India’s energy security, being the sixth largest supplier of crude oil. India is the second largest destination for UAE’s oil exports.

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