Defence is not the only sector where India and Russia share a historical and robust relationship. Both India and Russia have been strengthening their energy cooperation to further boost bilateral relations. Indian investment in Russia’s oil and gas sector exceeds $10 billion, while a consortium of Russian firms have committed over $13 billion in India’s Essar Oil.
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Indian companies are contemplating to invest in more oil and gas projects in Russia, according to oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Pradhan said that Russia is India’s biggest investment destination in the oil and gas sector and he understands that the historical relationship will only grow further.
“India has started on the path of becoming a gas-based economy. Russian supplies will assist us in meeting the objectives of price stability and energy security. Our oil and gas PSUs are advancing to examine their participation in more oil and gas projects in Russia,” the petroleum minister stated.
Emphasizing the bonding between Indian PM and Russian President, Pradhan said that Russia would always be a priority in India’s foreign and energy policy and that both countries would continue to be role models for global communities.
“PM Narendra Modi and President Putin have placed special emphasis on the energy sector as a priority area in our bilateral partnership. Russia is one of the largest producers of oil and natural gas in the world and it can become an important source to fulfil India’s requirements,” the minister added.
Earlier, Russia’s Gazprom started delivering liquefied natural gas (LNG) to India under a 20-year import deal at $1.5 per MMBtu, which is less than the price at which India sources LNG from Qatar, Australia, and the US.
The Indian government has been encouraging state-owned organizations to purchase stakes in conventional Russian gas fields. Last year, a consortium led by Indian Oil bought a 23.9% stake in Vankorneft, a subsidiary of Rosneft, as well as a 29.9% interest in Taas-Yuryakh Neftegazodobycha. In total, including older investments in Sakhalin, Indian investment in Russia’s oil and gas sector has crossed $10 billion.