INDIAN - RUSSIAN ENERGY COOPERATION
PLATTS - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that they want to increase bilateral energy cooperation.
The two leaders, who met during a state visit to India by Putin, said in a statement that companies should "consider a wide range of opportunities for cooperation, including long-term contracts, joint ventures and acquisitions of energy assets in both countries, as well as possible cooperation in third countries".
Talks on future cooperation include joint development of projects offshore in Russia's Arctic and Pechora seas and the Sea of Okhotsk, as well as further cooperation on LNG.
They will also continue to discuss the possibility of a technically and economically challenging gas pipeline from Russia to India.
Russia has in recent years looked to strengthen ties with Indian energy companies, aiming to secure market share in the growing Indian market, as well as attract Indian investment into its oil, gas and LNG projects.
Indian companies have signed up to participate in Rosneft's Vankor and Taas-Yuryakh projects in East Siberia, and signed new oil supply and LNG deals.
Those agreements significantly increased energy cooperation between India and Russia. Previously, ONGC Videsh took a 20% stake in Sakhalin 1 in Russia's Far East in 2001.
Russia's role in the Indian sector has also expanded in recent years. Rosneft is part of a consortium with Trafigura which took control of Essar oil, now known as Nayara Energy, last year.
The deal included the 20 million mt/year Vadinar Refinery, seen as a destination for Rosneft's crude supplies, as well as a possible hub for Rosneft to supply products to growing Asia-Pacific markets.
"Russia is, and will continue to be, a reliable energy supplier to India," Putin said Friday.
The relationship may be further strengthened by geopolitical tensions. Earlier this week the CEO of Nayara Energy said he was confident the company can leverage the strength of its partners including Rosneft and Trafigura to source alternative cargoes if Iran crude flows stop in November due to US sanctions.
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