The United Arab Emirates (UAE) said on Monday that it is looking at investing more in refining and petrochemical projects in India, as well as pumping more crude oil into the latter's strategic petroleum reserves.
Speaking to reporters here after receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Petrotech 2019 global energy conference from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UAE Minister of State and CEO Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said his country is looking to go beyond only selling crude to India and wants to develop a strategic partnership.
"We are looking at expanding investment portfolio in the downstream sectors, especially in oil refining and petrochemicals," he said.
"We are looking at strategic partnership, given that we can also bring our own crude. India is not only an important market for us.. it is a very strategic partner."
The proposed $44 billion Ratnagiri refinery project in Maharashtra has ADNOC and Saudi Arabian national oil company Aramco as overseas strategic partners.
The Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (RRPCL), created as a joint venture in collaboration with an Indian consortium of state-run oil marketing companies Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum, is, however, being opposed by the Shiv Sena along with a section of villagers on account of land acquisition issues involved.
Queried on the quantum of stake ADNOC will pick up in the 60 million tonnes per annum capacity Ratanagiri refinery, Al Jaber said: "We are still at an early stage. We are still in the process of defining the scope and scale of the project."
"We are working very closely with our partner Saudi Aramco as well as our counterparts in India," he added.
The UAE Minister also said the Gulf nation is also looking at storing more crude oil in Indian strategic reserves.
"India is very high on our strategic agenda and expanding our strategic reserve in India will be an item on the agenda to be discussed with our friends and counterparts in India," he said.
India has built 5.33 million tonnes of emergency storage in underground rock caverns in Mangaluru and Padur in Karnataka and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
Last year, ADNOC signed agreements to fill half of the strategic oil reserves at Mangaluru and in Padur.
( 392 Words)