India, Russia to cooperate on Russian LNG, Oil field development

India and Russia are further boosting their energy ties by pledging to cooperate in oil field development and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Russia, including in the Arctic shelf, the office of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after a summit meeting between him and with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in New Delhi.

India and Russia acknowledged the interest of Russian and Indian companies in cooperation in the field of LNG, and expressed their support for expanding the dialogue between Russia’s gas and LNG developer Novatek and Indian energy companies, the prime minister’s office said.

In June this year, India received its first LNG cargo from Russia under a long-term supply contract with Gazprom. India’s Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan described it as a historic milestone in bilateral energy ties that would diversify India’s energy sources.

India and Russia also said that they support energy companies from both countries to explore opportunities for joint development of oil fields in Russia, including the Arctic shelf, and joint development of projects on the shelf of the Pechora and Okhotsk Seas.

Putin and Modi also discussed a 2017 joint study on possible gas supply routes to India, the prime minister’s office said.

Last month, Oil Minister Pradhan had said that India’s state-held oil and gas companies continue to explore participation in more oil and gas projects in Russia.

“India has embarked on the path of becoming a gas-based economy. Russian supplies will help us in meeting the objectives of price stability & energy security. Our oil & gas PSUs are continuing to explore their participation in more oil & gas projects in Russia,” the minister had said.

Some of the recent deals between Indian and Russian companies include Russia’s oil giant Rosneft selling 15 per cent in Vankorneft to India’s ONGC Videsh for $1.27 billion in 2016. Rosneft subsidiary Vankorneft was set up to develop the giant Vankor oil and gas condensate field in the North of Eastern Siberia.

Last year, Rosneft, for its part, bought 49 per cent of India’s Essar Oil Limited.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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